SEBRING - Lake Placid had little breathing room offensively against the Teneroc Titans, who utilized a smothering full-court defense to thump the Green Dragons by a score of 60-27 Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the annual Taveniere Tournament.
The resounding win improved Class 6A Teneroc to 6-7 overall, while Class 4A Lake Placid dropped to 1-12.
"We did not handle the pressure very well," said Dragons coach Dan Coomes. "We have to handle it better than we did. The days off and not practicing, it made a huge difference."
"We just are not getting the job done. When you take time off like that, you are not going to do a whole lot and there is not much you can do."
Lake Placid did well in the early going, though, as the Dragons held a 6-5 lead, then it was all Titans. Teneroc ramped up its defensive pressure, forcing the Dragons into turnovers while giving them few opportunities to shoot the ball. The Titans rode the Lake Placid mistakes to rip a 10-0 run to take a 15-6 lead.
Despite an abysmal second quarter, which saw the Dragons only score seven points, Lake Placid was still in the game at halftime, trailing only 29-15.
"I was kind of surprised that we were able to overwhelm the way we did," said Tenoroc coach Alvin Pearsall, Jr. "But that is the style of defense that we have been playing all year. We have some pretty good athletes and once we get started to like to pressure more, but I was still surprised it affected them as much as it did."
Tenoroc didn't slow down in the second half. In fact, the Titans came out of the break and upped the tempo.
"We saw what was working in the first and wanted to increase the intensity," Pearsall, Jr. said.
The result was complete domination of the Lake Placid squad, as the Titans scored the first 12 points of the third quarter to take a 41-15 lead. Lake Placid finally answered with a bucket of their own before Tenoroc finished the third quarter on another 15 point run. The scoring barrage capped a 27-2 quarter to give Teneroc a 56-17 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
Lake Placid rebounded in the fourth period, outscoring Teneroc 10-4, but it was too little, too late. The Titans had put in their bench players and cruised to a 60-27 victory.
Pearsall said the victory helped the Titans in making the transition from the first half of the season to the second half.
"The games we won, our pressure has been real good for us and the games we lost we did not do a good job at pressing, tonight we did," he said. "We look forward to Sebring or Avon Park, both have outstanding programs."
Teneroc faced Avon Park in the second round Friday night, while Lake Placid played Sebring in the afternoon game. Results were not available at press time. Be sure to check Sunday's Highlands Today sports section for complete stories and photos.