At this point in the season, the Lane women’s basketball team is the most prolific offense in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges.
They lead the conference with an average of 85.65 points per game, nearly five points better than Big Bend Community College, the second-highest-scoring offense.
They also lead the conference in free throws made, total assists, total rebounds and total blocks, and are second in three-point field goals made.
Freshman Shelby Snook leads the Titans’ offense so far. She is third in the NWAACC in scoring, averaging 19.65 points per game on 46 percent shooting. She is also fifth in assists with 5.18 per game.
“I think our offense is really built off of things that I am able to contribute to the team,” Snook said. “If I can’t get a basket, then I look for teammates, and that’s when I get my assists.”
Freshman Gabby Heehn leads the conference in three-point field goals made, with 54, while freshman Niki Duncan is second, with 48.
On Jan. 4, the Titans opened up South Region play at Clackamas Community College, in a rematch of last year’s NWAACC championship.
The top-ranked Cougars shot 12-of-32 from the three-point line on their way to an 82-64 victory to improve their season record to 12-2.
“This is their gym. We knew they were going to shoot well,” Titans head coach Greg Sheley said after the loss. “We knew they were going to take away the three for us and we were going to have to drive to the basket and make layups, and we couldn’t do that.”
The Titans are now 13-4 and ranked fourth after a non-conference schedule that featured three of the NWAACC’s top eight teams.
“Experience-wise, we grew a lot with all of the tournaments over winter break,” sophomore Brandy Blackburn said. “The younger players had a chance to see a lot of different teams in the NWAACC.”
Although they have plenty of time to play catchup to the Cougars, they will most likely need to beat them when they meet again at Lane on Feb. 1, if they are to claim another South Region title.
The Titans started off their winter break by winning the Red Raider Invitational Tournament in Lakewood, Wash. They were crowned tournament champions after defeating the Cougars in a 76-70 overtime victory on Dec. 13.
Freshman Marikah Wright led Lane with 25 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore Tori Mahaffie contributed 11 points, 12 rebounds and four assists.
Sheley said the difference between the Titans’ two matchups with the Cougars lies in his team’s three-point shooting. The Titans went 9-of-22 from three-point range in the first meeting, as opposed to 4-of-15 in the second.
From there, the Titans headed to Bellevue, Wash., for a three-day tournament. They went 2-1, picking up wins over Whatcom Community College and Bellevue Community College.
Duncan and Snook each broke the 30-point mark during the tournament, Snook versus Whatcom and Duncan versus Bellevue.
A week later, at the Chemeketa Holiday Tournament in Salem, Lane claimed an 83-80 victory over Highline Community College on Dec. 28, as well as a 124-84 win over Treasure Valley Community College on Dec. 30.
However, on the tournament’s second day, the Titans suffered a 93-75 loss to Wenatchee Valley Community College, which currently sits outside the top 10 in the power rankings.