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Confident Uplift surges into city tournament

Uplift's Toraze Dobbs (5) cheers after making a three-pointer against Morgan Park. Worsom Robinson/ For the Sun-Times.

Uplift’s schedule has kept it out of the spotlight since the Proviso West Holiday Tournament back in December. The Titans have torn through the Red-North and won nine consecutive games.

Coach David Taylor is up front about the lofty goals the team has for the next two months.

“We are vying for a city title and a Class 2A state title,” Taylor said. “It’s kind of been the goal since the beginning of the season but now that it is here it is front and center.”

Uplift’s scores this season are inconsistent. The team posts dominant wins against good teams and sometimes lets lesser teams hang around.

“It’s been a sore spot for us all season,” Taylor said. “We scoreboard watch. We have some young guys. Demarius [Jacobs] is the only senior that plays heavy minutes. We get up 14 or 15 and then let teams crawl back.”

The Titans are extremely confident. They were actually calling out Simeon after beating Lincoln Park this week.

“I’m tired of playing these teams, it’s time to get to the real competition, Simeon and Morgan Park,” Uplift senior Toraze Dobbs said. “We are ready to get to the big teams.”

“After we get Simeon out of our way it is over with,” said Jacobs.

Uplift would potentially face the Wolverines in the quarterfinals of the city tournament. Just getting to that point will be a task, expect Urban Prep-Englewood to give the Titans a tough challenge in the first round. Then it wouldn’t be a surprise at all if Farragut knocked off Uplift in the second round. Uplift has one of the most difficult paths to the city title.

Two of the other top first round games:

Collins (19-4) at Kenwood (16-6): The Broncos are talented but inconsistent. It’s an all-new group this season that is still finding its way. Collins will be overlooked since it plays in the White, but that is a mistake. The Warriors have a terrific backcourt with seniors Terwon Matthews and Kamal Hill and sophomore Jaquan Embry. Collins has only lost one game to an in-state team.

Westinghouse (8-13) at Hyde Park (14-8): The Warriors’ record is deceiving. They are as good as most of the teams in the Super 25, but playing in the Red-West doesn’t lend itself to a gaudy record. The Thunderbirds have been playing well lately and have home court advantage. Westinghouse has super athlete Coreyoun Rushin and do-it-all guard Dexter Reed.