The Lane Community College women’s basketball team opened its preseason schedule against Treasure Valley Community College, in the annual tournament held in Eugene, Ore. known as the Titan Classic. Fresh off their fifth Northwest Athletic Conference Championship in the past eleven years, the Titans are hoping to replicate past success this year.
Wasting no time, Lane won the tip and scored the first basket of the game. Freshman guard Megan Still aggressively grabbed an offensive rebound and laid it back up against two TVCC defenders for her first points of the season. Lane Head Coach Greg Sheley made the first change in the game shortly after, sending in 5’11” sophomore Sierra Carrier to give Lane a stronger presence inside the paint.
Lane incorporated a full court press into their game plan and it was very effective. The Titans forced TVCC to turn the ball over 36 times throughout the game, with a hefty 22 of the 36 turnovers in the form of steals. Sophomore guard Amber Lease led the team with eight steals, while her freshman teammate, Emma Jones, recorded six. The Titan defense held TVCC to just 29 points in the first half while outscoring them by 19. Lane went into halftime with a 48-29 lead.
TVCC came out with a vengeance in the second half. The Chukars went on a scoring run and cut Lane’s once 19-point lead to just nine off a three-pointer from Holle Raymond, who scored a game-high 23 points for TVCC. With the Chukars closing in on Lane, Head Coach Sheley called a timeout. The Titans came out of the timeout and stole the ball on three straight possessions, all thanks to their pesky full-court defense. At the end of the third quarter, the Titans were ahead by ten and heading into the fourth quarter with a 66-56 advantage.
As the Chukars tried to make a comeback in the beginning of the fourth, Lane continued to fend off their attempts. Freshman Taeli Carrillo, from Meridian, Idaho, was on fire Friday night. She attempted seven shots, all of them three-pointers. She went 5-for-7 from behind the arc and hit a clutch three to send the Titan lead into double digits. The Titans never looked back after that, defeating the Chukars by a score of 85-76, and winning their first game of the Titan Classic.
Although she didn’t lead the Titans in scoring, Lease flirted with a triple-double. She recorded 9 points, 8 assists and 8 steals. Carrillo led the Titans in scoring with 15, all coming from her five three-pointers. Jones also recorded 5 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 6 steals.
The Titans defeated Wenatchee Valley College on Nov. 18 by a score of 73-56. They now play Peirce College in the championship of the Titan Classic.