Lane unshaken in neck-and-neck games

Men's basketball has shown stability under new coach

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The Titan men beat the Portland Panthers on Jan. 12 at Titan Court, giving the Titans a conference record of 4-1. Lane is entering a crucial part of the season to establish a spot in the postseason. Overall, Lane is 14-2, proving themselves as top competition in the region.

Portland played strong against Lane but came up short on offense. Lane made 51.3 percent of their field goals to Portland’s 43.2.

The team was led by shooting guard Lucas Wilson with 25 points, making 10-11 field goals, and shooting guard Tarik Cool’s 23 points. Cool is carrying an average of 25.4 points per game and has the fourth most points in the region with 356 on the season.

Lucas Wilson soars past the competition on his way to another slam dunk. The Portland Panthers struggled to contain the 6’5″ powerhouse, who recorded a season-high 25 points and nine rebounds in the Titans’ victory. (Elizabeth West // The Torch)

Portland was able to out-rebound Lane 43-37 and took 37 free throw attempts.

Ultimately, Lane stood strong and outscored their opponents 111-99.  

The season is getting heated as teams are playing conference rivals and sorting out the playoff bracket. The Titans are in position to make a playoff run. Currently Lane is third in the Southern Division and as long as they can stay in the top four, they will make it into the playoffs.

“We’ve just got to do what we do in games, and business will take care of itself,” shooting guard Will Graves said. Graves said the team is sticking to the “day-by-day” mentality to make it to the playoffs.

This time last season, the Titans were 4-12 overall. Playoff hopes were dismal as Lane was in last place.

But something is different this year. Among many roster changes, new head coach Joe White has begun building a winning culture.

Titan freshman Cody Mathis outstretches Portland’s Tabor Bosco during the opening tip-off of their matchup on Jan. 12. The Titan men have exceeded expectations, notching a 14-2 record heading into conference play. (Elizabeth West // The Torch)

“We have to continue to get better at what we feel is going to give us an opportunity to win a conference championship,” White said looking forward to the March 17 NWAC championship.

There is a one game margin for first place between five teams in the Southern Standings. Lane’s next 12 games will be against Southern Conference rivals. The next game will be against Mt. Hood, who lost their last three games, on Jan. 19 at Titan Court.