Uplift is a work in progress.
Coach David Taylor has a strong nucleus from a 26-win Class 3A sectional finalist and a high-powered transfer. Right now Taylor is trying to fit the pieces together.
“We’re not executing right now, especially in the halfcourt,” Taylor said.
It is good to have players who know how to improvise.
Uplift senior guard Jeremy Roscoe scored a team-best 14 points as the host Titans avoided Lane’s upset bid by staving off the Indians 54-48 in the Red-North conference debut for both teams on Tuesday night.
Uplift (6-1, 1-0) outscored the Indians 13-7 down the stretch after Lane guard Diangelo Perry (10 points) buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key in producing the game’s only second half tie at 41-41 with just over four minutes remaining
Uplift wing forward Spencer Foley, a high-scoring transfer from Northside, got loose underneath off a backscreen and converted the backdoor layup to break the tie. On the ensuing possession, Foley recorded a steal that Roscoe fed guard Deshon Fluckes for a 3-pointer from the right edge to give the Titans some breathing space.
Foley added 10 points, three rebounds and two steals for the Titans.
“Leading up to that sequence, I thought we had a lot of turnovers that were unnecessary,” Foley said. “We finally executed our offense, to get that backscreen, and we were able to do it twice in that fourth quarter.”
Lane (1-4, 0-1) played with purpose and intensity.
“They outcompeted us and really outhustled us to the basketball,” Roscoe said.
The Indians led only once at 2-0. Still, Lane’s long-range bombing enabled the Indians to hover around the Titans. Lane converted seven 3-pointers.
Foley’s three-point conversion produced the largest lead (35-26) late in the third quarter. Guard Noah Khan, a three-year starter playing his first game of the season, sparked the Indians. He converted four 3-pointers and scored a game-high 16 points.
Khan’s two fourth quarter 3-pointers sparked the 15-6 Indians’ surge that forced the tie. Uplift made more plays down the stretch, at times from unlikely contributors. Fluckes followed up his 3-pointer with a three-point play. Reserve guard Jamal Hanson recorded a steal and layup off a Lane inbound pass in the final minute, a backbreaking sequence and the Indians’ 18th turnover.
Jamaya Wyatt (five points) sealed the victory with a 3-pointer from the right wing with just under 38 seconds remaining. Wyatt had nine rebounds and four assists.
Simeon Negash added nine points for the Indians. Edwin Capuli contributed six points.
“They got some key plays and possessions from some guys that in scouting them on film really struggled to make shots,” Lane coach Nick Logalbo said.
“We had our chances and we competed. We tried to slow down Roscoe and Foley, two high-level players, and I thought we lost Roscoe a few times. We had our chances and if we’re going to be a good team, we are going to have to learn how to take advantage of those situations.”