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Strong defensive effort, teamwork lead Lady Titans to remain undefeated

February 12, 2021 - 00:00
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    LOA girl’s sophomore guard Kensi Stevens defending the basket in the team’s win over Towns County on Friday, Feb. 5. LANCE MCCURLEY/Staff

Last week, the Lake Oconee Academy Lady Titans dominated both Greene County and Towns County to remain unbeaten as the season winds down.

On Wednesday, Feb. 3, the Lady Titans beat cross-town rival Greene County 86-40 at the Tiger Den. Following that victory, head coach Kevin Furtado’s squad returned home to the Titan Center on Friday, Feb. 5 to outlast Towns County, 67-38.

It was a total defensive effort in both matchups by the Lady Titans, which is something the young team has been doing all season long.

“Yeah, we call it run-andstun,” Furtado said. “And we’re trying to force teams out of their offensive rhythm. And it just, we feel like most teams don’t have good ball handlers. And if they do, they might have one, maybe two. So, it really gets teams out of their offensive rhythm.”

Furtado explained that by applying constant pressure that it doesn’t allow opponents to set up plays and causes a higher chance of mistakes.

Against Greene County, Lake Oconee Academy jumped out to a 25-5 lead in the first quarter due to the strong defensive push. The Lady Tigers were never really able to climb out of that hole due to the suffocating effort by the Lady Titans.

That defensive-minded attitude continued against Towns County on Friday after a rough first quarter shooting performance by both teams. The Lady Titans’ pressure led to an 8-2 run at the start of the second period, which the team kept building on the rest of the contest.

Lake Oconee Academy only has nine girls on its roster, although all of them see significant playing time.

“I wish I had more, but right now, at this particular time in our program, you know, we don’t have great numbers, but we have great quality,” Furtado said. “So, all those girls that have been with me for a little while, so they really understand how to play and you know, my assistant coach and I have really bought into our system.”

Furtado said that despite being a young program, his players compete at a higher level than most.

“And, you know, we’re pretty tough on them, you know, they, they have to do certain things,” he said. “It’s not easy playing that way. The effort level has to be really high at all times, but our kids seem to enjoy it. And we’re pretty effective at it right now.”

The Lady Titans play again at home on Friday, Feb. 12 against Washington-Wilkes at 6 p.m. and against Commerce Saturday, Feb. 13 in the Titan Center at 3 p.m.