Darion Chatman spent the first half scoreless. At the end of a long Friday night, Texas City wished the Port Arthur Memorial junior guard stayed that way.
Chatman scored all 18 of his points after intermission, including a 3-pointer to force a second overtime while adding a decisive free throw in the closing seconds of the extra session to give the Titans a 68-64 win over the Stingarees in a Class 5A, Region III area round game. The loss ended Texas City’s season at 24-9.
The Stings appeared to have had the game sewn up when Jeremiah Hernandez’s layup gave them a 61-58 lead with under 10 seconds left in the first overtime, but Chatman worked his way through the Texas City defense to bury a triple that just left his hands as the horn sounded, giving Port Arthur Memorial’s (27-5) season a last-second reprieve.
Jyson Butler’s basket early in the second overtime gave the Titans the lead for good. Trailing 66-64, Texas City had a chance to tie the score, but Hernandez’s basket rimmed out and set the stage for Butler to hit one of two free throws to extend Port Arthur Memorial’s lead to 67-64 with 10 seconds left.
Johan Hernandez’s game-tying trey glanced off the rim and into the hands of Chatman, who hit one of two freebies with four seconds remaining to secure the win for the Titans.
Free throws doomed Texas City, as the Stings missed 13 of 21 from the line, including five straight in the fourth quarter. Memorial, who had trailed since the latter part of the second quarter, took its first lead on Thalian Wesley’s 3-pointer inside 3 minutes of regulation. The Stingarees trailed by four but forced overtime when Michael Walker’s basket tied the score at 53-53.
Adrian Sherwood led Texas City with 18 points, while Hernandez and Walker each scored nine, James Scott had eight, while Rodriguez had seven. Jacoree Evans scored four, Dayton Booker had three, Tee’Shawn Garrett had three, while Kevon Owens had two for the Stingarees.
Wesley led Port Arthur Memorial with 22 points.
Coach Chris Mason will lose Booker, Hernandez, Rodriguez, Scott and Walker from a team that ended the regular season state-ranked, climbing as high as fifth in Class 5A. Sherwood will be the team’s top returning scorer.