The Lane Community College women’s basketball team has set records and reached milestones nearly every season for the past decade. Now it’s the coach’s turn.
Greg Sheley, who has led the Titans to previously unattainable heights in his 14 years at Lane, will be going for career win No. 500 on Saturday when Clackamas comes to town.
For a team that has played in so many significant games since Sheley took over in 1999, the setting couldn’t be more fitting — a battle between the top two teams in both the conference and the South Region with three games to go before the start of the NWAACC tournament.
The second-ranked Titans (23-2, 9-2 South Region), ranked No. 1 all season until a loss to Chemeketa last weekend, are now No. 2 behind the Cougars (21-3, 11-0). A win by Lane would keep open the slim possibility of a seventh South Region title for the Titans since 2003. A loss would be the second to Clackamas this season.
“We have got to get the win. It’s huge,” said Sheley, 46, whose career record is 499-160. “We need to play better as we get close to playoff time.”
Sheley is already the winningest basketball coach in Lane history, with a record of 338-93. He went 161-67 at Butte (Calif.) College in his first job at the collegiate level
However, in the last 12 seasons at Lane, Sheley is 315-60 with at least 20 victories in each season. In the process, he’s turned the Titans into a Northwest power.
His teams won NWAACC championships in 2006, 2007 and 2009, and played in the final game in 2005.
His 2006 team won 30 games for the second straight season and won the Titans their first championship.
“That group of kids, their dedication and desire to win was amazing,” Sheley said.
Lane has also been in the NWAACC Final Four seven times since 2004, and since Dec. 19, 2002, the Titans are 100-3 at home. That includes an 83-game home winning streak, snapped by Clackamas on Jan. 19, 2011.
Having already secured a postseason spot this season, the Titans will play in their 12th straight NWAACC tournament March 2-5. Lane’s only other tournament appearance before Sheley became coach was in 1993.
“Since I’ve been up here I’ve been real fortunate,” Sheley said. “We’ve been fortunate to convince quality young women that are pretty skilled to come be a part of what we’re doing and then buy into what we’re doing. That’s been the important thing.”
Lane’s game is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, and the Titan men will follow with their game against Clackamas at 4 p.m.