Name:Martha Lane Collins Mascot: Titans
Head Coach: Chris Gaither
State Tournament Appearances:
The Titans will be making their second state tournament trip since the opening of the school. Martha Lane Collins High School is a fairly new school coming from the Shelby County split. They last made the tournament in 2015, in which they played the eventual state champion in the first round losing 55-38.
The Titan's are coached by Chris Gaither. Coach Gaither is 134-62 (.684) over his six season's to date at Collins. Made the regional tourney all six years. Won two region titles (2015, 2017). Won 30th district in 3 of the 6 seasons; Chris has won 20+ wins 5 of 6 seasons. Coach Gaither played at Grayson County High School where he went on to play collegiately for John Chaney at Temple before transferring to play here in Kentucky at Georgetown College.
District Tournament Re-Cap:
The Titans did not have any easy walk at all to the regional tourney. They defeated crosstown rival Shelby County in a down right battle to the end. The Titans of course went onto win that game 49-46 and move onto face Anderson County in the Championship game where they would lose on their home floor 44-53. Collins will be one of the teams at the state tournament this season as a district runner-up which seems to be a trend in the 8th region, I think that has happened in 4 of the last 5 seasons in the 8th region. Collins is 15-1 when scoring 60 or more points this season, when they are firing on all cylinders they can be a tough out.
Regional Tournament Re-Cap:
The regional championship was definitely earned by this bunch of Titans. They knocked off Oldham County in the first round game, the team that everyone had picked to win the 8th much of the season. That was a game that the Titans avenged an earlier season loss 47-71. The Titans beat the Colonels this time around 62-59 as Oldham missed a 3 pointer at the horn. The second round against the Gallatin County Wildcats also came down to the last 10-15 seconds where Gallatin was holding the ball for a tie/win trailing by 2. Collins managed to get a steal and win that semi-final game 48-44 to advance to the championship game. Wouldn't you know it they get the rubber match game between Anderson County, a team that had beaten them the week before at Collins. This game was an awesome high school game with several lead changes, and players making plays. Collins takes the lead on (2) made FT's by Dominique Turner. Cobe Penny for Anderson gets a contested lay-up at the horn that came up short and the Titans are dancing to Rupp Arena.
Sweet 16 Opening Round Game:
The Titans will meet the Elliott County Lions, winners of the 16 region in the opening round of the KHSAA Sweet 16 state tournament. This will be the first ever meeting between these two teams. The Lions are 26-3 entering the tournament this week, and as I have said before every team that is in Lexington has to be pretty darn good. They have only (2) losses in Kentucky, Paris in the All A state tournament, and West Carter by 2 points. This team is dangerous to the Titans for sure. The Lions have (3) guys that can score the basketball, so it will be a challenge.
This Titans team has several players that can hurt you. It starts with the 2 all 8th region performers in seniors Dominique Turner and Charles Cochran. Both are long and athletic, 6'4-6'5. Love the mid range shot, can get to the offensive glass, and step out and make 3's if they have too. They both have a great first step and can finish well around the basket. Cochran comes in averaging 15.5ppg and 7 rebounds, the stat that I love about him is the 63% he shoots from the floor. Turner comes in averaging 11.5ppg and 7 rebounds himself, these 2 have been a great tandem all season. Now lets talk about the sharp shooters in Fort and Feltner. These 2 guys can light it up from long range, and both have missed significant time with injury this season. However this 10 days of rest should have helped both tremendously. Fort comes in at 10ppg, and (36) made 3's in a short amount of time he has played while his counterpart Feltner comes in a 10.5ppg and shooting 43% from 3 point land. Now we have to mention the guy that stirs the drink in freshmen PG Dayveion McKnight, 7.5ppg. This kid has tremendous poise for a freshmen, he willed the semi-final game for the Titans and did a great job handling pressure in the final while playing great defense. He lacks shooting the ball, and when he adds that part to his game watch out. He has a great first step, can finish with either hand around the basket, and a great defender. His lack of turning the ball over for a freshmen has been a reason this Titans team is in Rupp. Facing the Oldham County pressure for 32 minutes was fun to watch and he handled it masterfully. This team has several guys off the bench that I have to mention, they have been an intricate part in this team holding it together all season through all the injury's. Freshmen Marcellus Veil, Junior Nick Eades, and Kyle Purdue, all have had big moments for the Titans. They give this team a spark, make shots, and get big rebounds when called upon. Good luck to the Titans and Coach Gaither this week as they represent the 8th region at Rupp!!