Thanksgiving Break did not mean a break from basketball for the Lady Titan Basketball team (4-2, 2-0 Region 7AAAAAA). The team played in a Showcase at Johns Creek High School, competing against multiple top teams in the state.
“This past weekend we played Eagle’s Landing and Wesleyan. These are games that we schedule to see where we are, and we learned that we have a lot of work to do,” Head Coach Chris Yarbrough said.
On Nov. 20, the Titans faced Eagle’s Landing first (4-3, 1-1 Region 4AAAAA), and pulled out a 49-43 victory.
“One thing we did well was we never gave up at any time. In the game against Eagle’s Landing, we especially kept pushing and came out with a good win,” junior power forward Ashlee Austin said.
Austin was a key player this weekend for the Titans, leading the team in points.
“Ashlee set a career high in points with 31 points against Wesleyan,” Yarbrough said.
Although Austin set a career high this tournament, she is still looking to improve herself for her team moving forward in the season.
“I really want to work more on my decision making and making the extra pass. As one of the leaders on the team, a lot of the offense comes through me and I am still learning that I do not have to make something happen all the time,” Austin said.
Another key player, senior Megan Cistulli, played great defense against Eagle’s Landing and helped the team get turnovers to score more points on offense.
“We do really well with pushing the ball up the floor and knowing where to be to score points,” Cistulli said.
After the Titans 78-59 downfall to the Wesleyan Wolves (4-1, 0-0 Region 5A) on November 21, the team knows they have a lot more to improve on moving forward, especially turnovers, after having 20 against Wesleyan.
“We have got to play better defensively, and got to protect the ball way better. We had way too many turnovers. Wesleyan executed really well and showed us that we have a long way to go if we are going to really do anything this year,” Yarbrough said.
The Titan players are well aware of their potential and the changes they need to make in order to find repeated success and make another deep run this season.
“We need to improve our shooting percentages, and we need to stop playing as such individuals and more as a team. We have so much talent and that is how we get by in region games, but in hard games against teams like Wesleyan, our team chemistry will be exposed, and we really need to work on that,” Cistulli said.
“The thing that hurt us most against Wesleyan was how slow of a start we got off to that we always seem to start out with. We were down by ten or more points in the beginning and had to try to make our points back up in the end, and that is something we just cannot do against good teams like Wesleyan,” Austin said.
A key Titan player, junior Maya Richards, came back this tournament healthy from a past injury, scoring double figures. Makayla Davis also returned this past weekend off of an injury as well and contributed a lot to the team as much as she could with limited minutes.
The Lady Titans are looking at a healthy returning team now and are looking towards region play in the remainder of the season.
“We just have to shoot the ball a little bit better. Some of our players are just beginning to get healthy. It will come around, but we still have to work to improve,” Yarbrough said.