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SMALL COLLEGE NOTEBOOK: Williams takes ATC's start in stride

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY -- The Albany Tech Lady Titans are 2-1 in their first basketball season, but coach Kenneth Williams is keeping the success in perspective.

During convincing wins against West Georgia Tech (105-49) on Saturday for the program's first victory and then against East Georgia (82-36) on Monday, Williams did not stress contentment.

Instead, he demanded an aggressive mindset once the second half of each game began.

"We would be up by 20 at halftime, but I would tell them to come out and play like they are down by 10," said Williams.

Williams, although he was somewhat surprised at the team's 2-1 start, added his girls have been quickly making up for lost time after a late start to preseason practice. However, there was a reason he told the players to keep up their intensity during the two blowout wins. That's because traditionally strong region teams like Darton and defending region champion Middle Georgia still await the Lady Titans in NJCAA Region XVII competition.

"With the way I set up the schedule, it kind of allows us to actually come along slowly and adapt to the pace of the game," Williams said.

For the time being, Williams said he was happy with the way the Lady Titans were playing defense.

"Other than a couple of missed assignments here and there, the defensive chemistry as a whole is really coming along well," he said. "They are blocking well, rebounding well and helping out on defense well."

Albany Tech plays at Enterprise at 6 p.m. Thursday.

LADY CAVS FALL TUESDAY:

The Darton women's team, which beat LB Wallace, 70-50, last week, lost against the same team Tuesday by the score of, 50-40.

"They shot the ball well and we didn't," Darton coach Laura Blackwell said. "Everything we threw up was not in tempo and we had to fight a lot just to try and get some easy baskets. We played well in the first half, (but) we just didn't put two halves together. We're just chalking it up as a learning experience. When you beat a team the first time, you've got to get them the second time."

Ex-Monroe star Dominique Gilbert led the Lady Cavaliers with 12 points and nine rebounds, and she was followed by former Americus-Sumter standout Breanne Neal with 12 rebounds. D'Arcy Williams added nine points. Darton's next game is 7 p.m. Friday at Tallahassee Community College.

DARTON WRESTLING RANKED:

The Cavaliers, in their second year as an official team, are ranked ninth among NJCAA non-scholarship teams for the first time.

"It's big for us and it shows we are going in the right direction and the kids are doing the right things," Darton wrestling coach Josh Watts said. "Hopefully we can continue going in that direction."

Darton also beat the University of Central Florida's club team for the first time, 19-15, Friday. Luis Ponce (125), Branden James (141), James Bennett (149), Marcus Allen (157) and Kafuba Donzon (165) won matches during that team victory. In the UCF Open on Saturday, Bennett and Donzon finished first. Four other Darton wrestlers (Nigel Rocke, 125, Trevor Bailey, 133; Terry Orange, 149 and Andrew Ewers at 197) finished second in that tournament.

Darton's next match is Thursday in Atlanta against Limestone (S.C.).

SIAC BASKETBALL PREDICTIONS:

The Albany State men, who last won the SIAC Tournament Championship in 2007, was picked to finish this season fifth by the coaches, and guard Sean Glenn was named to the preseason All-Conference Second Team. Last season, Glenn averaged 11.1 points and was third in the conference with a 4.5 assist average for the Rams, who finished, 13-15.

The Lady Rams, who last won the conference tourney in 1998 and finished last season, 12-17, were also picked to finish fifth. No Albany State women's player received preseason SIAC honors.

DARTON SWIMMING IN FULL SWING:

The men and women's teams recently finished third in a meet hosted by Emory. The Lady Cavaliers, who accumulated 154 points, were fourth and seventh in the 200 free relay, and then fourth and sixth in the 400 medley relay. The men, who finished with 243 points, were led by Zach Lopez, who was 19th in the 200 individual medley and fifth in the 50 free. Darton's men also finished fourth and fifth in the 200 free relay and claimed third-through-fifth-place finishes in the 400 medley relay.

Darton hosts a meet at 3:45 p.m. Saturday against Savannah College of Art & Design.