After a December full of success and struggle, the Lane men’s basketball team owns a record of seven wins and eight losses.
The Titans began their winter break by finishing third at the Dale J. Bates Tournament, a three-day tournament at Lane Community College fom Dec. 13 to Dec. 15.
After an 83-74 victory over New Hope Christian College on the tournament’s first day, the Titans squared off against the Southwestern Oregon Community College Lakers, currently ranked fourth in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges.
The Titans took a 41-40 lead into halftime and were carried by sophomore Alex Sattley, who hit four three-pointers in the first half and finished with a game-high 29 points.
However, they could not hold off the Lakers, who went 16-21 from the free-throw line in the second half to put away the game.
The Titans were forced to settle for a spot in the tournament’s consolation championship versus Lower Columbia Community College.
Sattley once again led the Titans with 25 points and six rebounds, and sophomores Alec Breazeale and Zach Kirschbaum each added 15 points to help Lane to a 73-61 victory and third-place finish.
“I think we really improved on being mentally focused,” Sattley said after the tournament.
On Dec. 20, the Titans hit the road for the Everett Crossover Tournament in Everett, Wash.
Lane began the tournament with a 98-95 overtime victory over the Everett Community College Trojans.
Kirschbaum led the Titans with a season-high 34 points and 17 rebounds, while shooting 10-of-11 from the free throw line.
“They weren’t too big of a team so I just used my advantage the best way I could,” Kirschbaum said.
The next day, the Titans knocked off the fifth-ranked Community Colleges of Spokane Sasquatch.
Kirschbaum filled up the stat book for the Titans, scoring 19 points while also chipping in eight rebounds, two steals, two assists and two blocks. Freshman Dale Baker added 10 points and five rebounds.
The Titans’ winning streak came to an end when they met the top ranked Clark Community College Penguins in the tournament championship, and were handed a crushing 87-59 loss.
The next week wasn’t any easier for the Titans. They traveled to Weed, Calif., where they suffered three consecutive losses to Sacramento City College, College of the Siskiyous and Butte College.
“The California trip was a deal where I just think we didn’t have enough time off,” Chavka said. “We went up to Everett and played well, but then three days off after that just isn’t enough.”
On Jan. 4, the Titans opened up regional play with a 79-67 loss on the road against the Clackamas Community College Cougars.
The Cougars hit 11 three-pointers, five of them coming from sophomore guard Spencer Bankofier, and were able to limit Sattley, Lane’s leading scorer, to just five points.
Chavka said the Cougars did a great job of keying in on Sattley and Kirschbaum and it seemed like their goal was to limit both of their scoring.
“Every time I would catch the ball in the second half, they would send another player over to double me, which made it difficult to score,” Kirschbaum said.
Sattley is averaging 18.42 points per game and Kirschbaum is averaging 17.08 — the duo has combined to score 42.6 percent of Lanes’ points this season.