Titans start spreading the news
The Lane women have the nation’s longest active home winning streak, and it’s drawing attention
Despite an unparalleled level of success for most of this decade, the Lane Community College women’s basketball team has never quite received the type of attention coach Greg Sheley thought it deserved.
With an assist from the Lane administration, Sheley and some of his players have been on a media blitz the past few weeks in preparation for today’s 6 p.m. home opener against Lower Columbia Community College.
Sheley has taped radio ads, he’s been on a local sports talk radio show, and a story about the Titans’ 71-game home winning streak — the active national collegiate record — was recently featured on foxsports.com.
“I appreciate it and I think it’s good,” Sheley said. “I think it’s good for the college and I’m glad the college is latching on to it, and that we in the athletic department are able to show what you can do at Lane. You can be a student, you can be an athlete, it’s a good place to go.”
Now in his 11th season, Sheley’s team has started 2-0 and is ranked third in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges.
The Titans are coming off their third NWAACC title in four years and are looking to continue a five-year run that has been nothing short of dominant.
Since the 2004-05 season, Lane has gone 151-17 overall and 65-5 in the Southern Region. The Titans have played in six straight final fours and advanced to the NWAACC championship game four times since 2005.
Even with seven freshmen and three new starters in the lineup, Sheley is confident his team will live up to the expectations associated with such success.
“They’re aware of everything because that’s such a big part of our recruiting, and that’s a big part of why they come here,” Sheley said. “I don’t know if they feel the pressure yet. I don’t know if they know what to expect yet.
“We came out in our first game against Spokane and just stunk up the floor. We played about seven minutes of good basketball and fortunately that was enough. But the next night we put it together and cruised.”
Sophomore post Theresa Brown is the top returning player. The former Sheldon High standout was an NWAACC all-star last season.
Freshman point guard Susan Smith, a four-year starter at Churchill and second-team all-Midwestern League player last season, has started both games, as has freshman Kristen Huff, a 6-foot-2, second-team all-state post from North Eugene who had 16 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks in the Titans’ win against Highline on Nov. 22.
“I really like our freshman group,” Sheley said. “And we have such a strength at the post this year. We’ve got talent and I think we’ve got the right mix.”
They will play their first home game of the season tonight, where they have been perfect since a loss on Dec. 6, 2001.
“It’s interesting,” Sheley said. “I like talking about it now. I was really nervous talking about it when we were getting to 50. But it’s time to open it up now.”
Appeared in print: Wednesday, Dec 9, 2009