The Lane men hosted the first place Portland Community College Panthers Sat. Jan. 31 to try to end their four-game losing streak.
“We’re going to have to defend, rebound, and out-compete them,” Lane assistant coach Joe White said on what it would take to beat Portland.
The Titans won the tip but struggled to control the pace in the opening minutes. The Panthers jumped out to a quick 15-7 lead. PCC had to rely on getting open jump shots after 7-foot Kylor Kelley had four blocks in the opening six minutes and nine total in the first half.
Titan Tre’Var Holland had a defender on his hip and spotted an open Patrick Goodard in the corner, who swished his first 3-point attempt. Goodard sank his second attempt after a double screen earned him enough time to spot up and shoot.
The Titans started to gain momentum after Goodard gave a PCC defender a shot fake and drove to the basket for his eighth point of the first half. With three minutes remaining in the first half, the Titans were down just six. Going into halftime, the Titans were able to keep up with the Panthers offense only down 35-40.
In the second half, back-to-back 3-pointers from Lane’s Tayler Marteliz tied the game at 41 and forced Portland to call timeout. Marteliz gave the Titans their first lead of the game after converting on a free throw when he got fouled on a 3-point attempt. Marteliz finished with seven points, two assists and three blocks.
With more than 13 minutes left in the game, the Titans entered the bonus, therefore whenever they were fouled they would be shooting free-throws, with the exception of player control fouls.
The Titans’ biggest lead reached eight on a fast break score by Keaton McKay. The lead changed hands a few times before Portland hit a three and went ahead by four with four minutes remaining in regulation.
Lane head coach Bruce Chavka summoned Kylor Kelley to check back into the game with 3:41 left and the Titans down by six, hoping to get a few stops. McKay took advantage of a bigger man on him by hitting a step-back 3-pointer to pull the Titans within five.
Lane was unable to catch the Panthers in the last few minutes of the game and lost 67-76. After winning their first two conference matchups, the Titans have now lost five in a row. Chavka and Marteliz addressed his teams losing streak after the game.
“I think we need 40 minutes of good positive energy on the defensive end,”Chavka said. “But we’re a talented group, we just don’t have that much depth.” All five Titan starters had more than 34 minutes of playing time, with three playing the entire game.
“We have lapses where we start playing soft,” Marteliz said. “We gotta fix that.”