The Lane Titans women’s basketball team took on Mt. Hood Community College in the first game of a double-header which also featured the men’s team. The Lane women came into Saturday losing their first and only game at home this season when they fell to Clackamas Community College.
Lane head coach Greg Sheley, 5-time NWAC Champion, decided to try a different approach to the game this weekend.
“We’re going to start a smaller, more athletic lineup and then bring in our size and strength,” Sheley said.
The strategy seemed to work for Sheley and the Titans as they started the game on a 12-2 scoring outburst. But the defensive pressure was what Sheley was most pleased with.
“The first half was very exciting; I thought it was really well,” Sheley said in praise of his team’s energy on defense.
Freshman guard Megan Stills hit two 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions for the Titans.
With 24 seconds remaining, Sheley called a timeout to set up a play for the last shot of the first quarter. Taelli Carrillo managed to get off an open 3-pointer but couldn’t sink the shot as the first quarter buzzer sounded.
Despite the missed shot, the Titans had a 25-7 advantage heading into the second quarter. The Saints and Titans traded baskets for most of the second quarter, but Lane still managed to increase their lead, 47-23 at halftime.
Lane continued to put the pressure on, forcing 30 Mt. Hood turnovers. The Titans scored 26 of their points off turnovers, while Mt. Hood only scored four points off Titan turnovers.
Carrier, a 5’11” sophomore, was able to use her height advantage to create a mismatch in the post area and tried to make a move. Another MHCC defender came in to help but instead fouled Carrier and sent her to the free-throw line to try and extend the Lane lead to 30. Carrier missed one and made one, which gave the Titans a comfortable 29-point lead.
Coming into the fourth quarter Lane sharpshooter, Carrillo, had yet to make a 3-pointer. She continued to shoot after missing her previous attempts and sank two 3-pointers. Carrillo has made at least two 3-pointers in 15 of the 17 games she has played this year.
The Titans coasted to a 74-52 win against Mt. Hood. Lane is now third in the Southern Region standings behind Umpqua and Clackamas who have won five straight conference games. Lane will play at Linn-Benton on Wed. Jan. 24, then they are back home for a matchup with Portland Community College on Saturday Jan. 27.