WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

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The Titans have proven that they are the team to beat in the South Region. They are the NWAACC’s top offensive team, and have won games in every fashion possible.

Lane’s roster features nine freshman, but they have played like a veteran team this season. The new players have begun to hit their stride after picking up head coach Greg Sheley’s system.

Following a disappointing 82-64 loss to Clackamas on Jan. 4 to open regional play, the Titans have rebounded nicely with seven straight victories.

Freshman point guard Shelby Snook is one of the top players in the NWAACC, and she leads the Titans with 20.41 points per-game. Sophomore forward Tori Mahaffle is fourth in the NWAACC in blocks at 1.57 per-game.

The Titans lead the NWAACC in scoring at 84.8 points per-game, while shooting 41 percent from the field.

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Chemeketa Community College Storm (12-9) (3-3)

The Storm look like a strong candidate to claim the fourth and final South Region playoff spot.

They are led by freshman forward Imma Savoy, who is eleventh in scoring in the NWAACC with 17.19 points per-game, along with nine rebounds per-contest.

The Storm are a big team, with six players tallying in at 5-foot-10 or taller. However, their height hurts them at the free throw line; they are shooting 57 percent as a team.

The Storm have a star in Savoy; if they can give her a little bit of help scoring, they have the potential to be a dangerous tournament team.

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The Cougars are one of the top teams in the NWAACC. Unfortunately for them, they play in the toughest region in the conference, and Lane and Umpqua just continue to win.

Sophomore combo guard Laci Effenberger leads the NWAACC in assists per-game with 6.50 and is the Cougars top-scorer at 15.50 points per-game.

The Cougars return three starters from last year’s team, which won the Southern Region
Championship.

They have suffered losses to both Lane and Umpqua, but defeated Lane at home on Jan. 4.

Clackamas leads the conference in three-point shots made, and features three legitimate scorers in Effenberger, Tori Wilkinson and Jasmine
Gibbs-Brown.

Their hopes of winning another South Region
are most likely finished, but don’t be surprised to see this team playing deep into the tournament
this year.

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The Panthers have had a difficult non-conference schedule this season. However, thanks to their three conference wins, including an impressive 73-65 victory over Clackamas, they still have a shot at the playoffs.

Freshman forward Diamon Bolden leads the Panthers with 17.88 points per-game, as well as 5.18 assists per-contest. Sophomore guard Shamarica Scott leads the Panthers in rebounds per-game she averages around eight boards per-game.

The Panthers showed an ability to beat an elite opponent with their upset win over Clackamas. If they are to keep their fleeting playoff hopes alive, however, the Panthers must find a third scorer to pick up the slack left from Bolden and Scotts’ efforts.

If Portland can find that elusive third scorer, they could be a tough matchup come playoff time.

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The Riverhawks have had an impressive season, and at this point, they appear to be the only team capable of challenging Lane for a South Region title.

Umpqua is 17-5 overall, with two of their losses to coming by only one point.

Freshman point guard Ashil Payne is fifth in the NWAACC in scoring, averaging 18.86 points per-game, including a career-high 53 point game versus Portland Community College during the first game of the season.

The Riverhawks are an undersized team; they feature three players who are 5-foot-5 or shorter. However, they still rank second in the NWAACC for rebounding with 51.95 boards per game.

The Riverhawk have plenty of desire right now, having won seven consecutive games.

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The Lakers took care of business during pre-season play, but have struggled versus South Region opponents.

They started out well, winning eight out of their first ten regular season games. A 45-41 loss to Tacoma on Dec. 21 ended the Lakers’ early winning streak, and they have lost two-of-seven games since then. Their losses have included drubbings at the hands of Portland, Chemeketa, Lane, and Clackamas Community Colleges.

The Lakers are led by sophomore guard Kyla Siri, who is averaging 18 points, and seven rebounds per game. Freshman forward Aminata Cole helps out on the offensive end as well averaging a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

The Lakers rank third in the NWAACC in rebounding with 49.38 rebounds per-game. The Lakers have had spurts of good play this season, but must put it all together for a mid-season rally.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

The Storm are one of the most surprising teams in the NWAACC and a darkhorse contender to win the South Region.

They were 4-7 at the end of the pre-season, but went on a 5-0 tear to begin regional play. They have cooled off at this point, losing their last two games to Lane and Portland. However, they will be a contender no matter who they play this season, due to the simple fact that they can put points on the scoreboard.

They lead the NWAACC in scoring with 97.42 points per-game and are led by NWAACC Player of the Year candidate freshman forward Bryce White. White leads the South Region in scoring with 27.16 points per-game and boasts a season-high of 45 points.

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Portland Community College Panthers (15-7) (6-2)

The Panthers won’t blow anybody away with gaudy stats, but they have quietly been the most consistent team in the NWAACC South Region.

They are 15-7 overall and three of their losses were to 16-1 Clark Community College, 12-6 Columbia Basin Community College and 14-6 Skagit Community College; all three teams are first in their respective regions.

They have an imposing interior defense that features 6-foot-9 forward Anthony Hines and 6-foot-8 forward Kidus Ephrem.

Their biggest flaw is the fact that they foul — a lot. They are second in the NWAACC in personal fouls this season, which could hinder them in close games late in the season when key players are forced to sit due to foul trouble.

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The Lakers are a serious contender to win this year’s NWAACC championship. They are 16-6 overall this season and all of their losses have come from teams with winning records.

The Lakers are lead by do-it-all sophomore point guard D.J. Anderson, who averages 18.81 points and 4.61 assists per-game. Sophomore forward Dexter Williams Jr. averages 19.29 points and pulls down 7.81 boards per-contest.

They are third in the NWAACC in scoring at 92.43 points per-game. Although they lack overall height — they only have two players taller than 6-foot-4 — they are fourth in the NWAACC in rebounding at 45.29 points per-game.

Expect the Lakers to make a deep run into this year’s tournament, especially if they are able to win the South Region and lock up a first-round bye.

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Clackamas is a deep, athletic team that shoots the ball well and doesn’t count on any one player to get the job done.

Their starters average 13 points per-game for the Cougars and four players have scored at least 27 points in a single game this season.

Point guard Spencer Bankofier is one of the top playmakers in the South Region. He averages 4.65 assists per-game while shooting a respectable 40 percent from three-point range.

The Cougars are one of the top three-point shooting teams in the conference at 35 percent, but also have several inside threats in 6-foot-9 forward Grant Sitton and 6-foot-6 forward Moe Keita.

They are shooting an NWAACC-best 74 percent from the free throw line this year, however, they are fourth-to-last in the conference in free throw attempts.

The Cougar’s depth and accurate shooting could make them a tough team to handle late in the season.

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At one point, the Saints were the top team in the NWAACC and were ranked first in the Dec. 24 coaches poll, but proceeded to lose their next three games and now hold an overall record of 16-5. However, two of those three losses came from top-ranked Clark Community College and the fourth-ranked Lakers, and all three losses were by six points or less.

The Bulldogs are one of the most efficient teams in the conference; they shoot 38 percent from the three-point line, and 48 percent overall, tied for third in the NWAACC.

A big reason for that is sophomore center Mac Johnson. The 6-foot-8 center shoots 64 percent from the field and leads the NWAACC in rebounding, pulling down 10.82 boards per-game. Johnson is one of true centers in the region, and is capable of taking over a game with his physical inside play.

If they are able to recapture their pre-season form, the could make a late season push for the South Region title.

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The Titans have struggled through an up-and-down season, but seem to be finding their rhythm now after winning three of their last five games.

All season, the Titans have depended on sophomores Alex Sattley and Zach Kirschbaum to provide the majority of the scoring — both are averaging around 19 points per game.

Freshman forwards Dale Baker and Daemund McCants have both stepped up since the beginning of regional play to provide some much-needed additional scoring and rebounding, but the Titans will go as far as Sattley and Kirschbaum take them. Both are capable of taking over a game on any given night (each player boasts a season-high of 34 points).

In the 98-95 win over Everett Community College on Dec. 20, the duo scored a combined 59 points. If they are able to put up performances like that on a consistent basis, the Titans are capable of beating anybody.