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Lady Titans suffocate Lady Tigers to stay undefeated

January 15, 2021 - 00:00
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    LOA’s defense surrounds the ball forcing a turnover. PHILLIP HUBBARD/Staff
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    Kensi Stevens (No. 23) drives down the court to attempt a layup PHILLIP HUBBARD/Staff

The Lake Oconee Academ Lady Titans defeated the Greene County Lady Tigers 86-32 last Friday at the Titan Center.

It was a contest that was never close largely due to the suffocating defense of LOA.

Right at the opening possession, LOA’s defense met Greene County players at half court. The Lady Titans threw full-court pressure, double teams and more at the Lady Tigers and Greene County could never respond.

There were even times it seemed Greene County couldn’t even get past half court.

And, as the cliché goes, that defense turned into offense for the Lady Titans.

In the closing seconds of the first quarter, Destiny McClendon stole the ball, rushed down court and passed the ball to a wide-open Georgia Bosart. Bosart, then, converted on the easy layup and the buzzer sounded. LOA led 23-0. According to head coach Kevin Furtado that’s the way he wants his team to play.

“We feel like, at our level, we can force a lot of turnovers,” Furtado said. “We struggled a lot forcing turnovers the last few games before that, so we wanted to go back press.”

Thanks to that defensive effort early, the Lady Titans never looked back.

At halftime, the score was 44-18 and then LOA led 67-26 heading into the fourth quarter.

It wasn’t all defense, though. There were some impressive performances on the offensive side as well.

McClendon, in particular, led the team with 23 points. Piper Bosart, Georgia’s older sister, almost recorded a double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds. Off the bench, Kensi Stevens contributed 12 points, three assists and two steals. Stevens also connected on a three-pointer in Friday’s contest.

Not only did they score 86 points, but they did so while also shooting 54 percent from the field.

So, it was a team effort all around for the Lady Titans.

But, again, as the cliche goes, there’s always room for improvement. Especially in the eyes of their head coach.

“We’re not taking care of the ball,” Furtado said. “We did everything well, but we had 18 turnovers.”

Furtado recognized the importance of correcting those miscues, but also highlighted his team’s ultimate goal.

“We’re trying to get ready for the region and state tournament,” Furtado said. “We’re just trying to get better and better moving forward.”

Their next opportunity to get better will be at Towns County this Friday night against the Lady Indians. When LOA rides up to Hiawassee, it’ll be 11-0 and 2-0 in region play thanks to their win versus Greene County.