By TRIBUNE SPORTS STAFF
---- — ELWOOD — Elwood jumped to a quick lead and kept visiting Taylor at arm’s length the rest of the way in taking a 59-52 victory in a boys basketball contest Saturday afternoon.
“We could have played better,” Taylor coach Andy Lewman said. “We came out flat in the first quarter and that didn’t help us at all. We turned the ball over nine or 10 times in the first half. When we were able to limit our turnovers to 10 and execute offensively Thursday [against Western], we did much better. That’s what we didn’t do very well [Saturday].”
Taylor (4-10) was coming off a 66-point performance against Western, but the Titans struggled trying to operate against Elwood’s triangle-and-two defense. Taylor shot 49 percent from the field overall in Saturday’s game, but committed 18 turnovers.
“As well as I thought we played offensively Thursday, we took a couple steps back in the first half [Saturday]. It was partially because our kids didn’t execute very well against their triangle and two. It was the first time we’ve seen anything like that,” Lewman said.
Elwood (9-9) maintained a lead throughout the second half, but Lewman noted the Titans’ press provided a spark in the fourth quarter. Senior guard Calvin Wheeler also provided a spark, scoring 15 of his 24 points in the final quarter.
“He had a very good fourth quarter, did a good job putting himself in a position to score some. He used his athleticism and his quickness to find ways to score,” Lewman said, noting Elwood had limited Wheeler’s touches in the first half.
Wheeler finished 10 of 11 from the field (1 of 2 from 3-land). He also had three assists and four steals.
Latrell Mitchell added 12 points, eight rebounds, five steals and three assists for the Titans.
Jared Bourff led Elwood with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
“The Bourff kid is very good. He seems to have great games against us,” Lewman said. “I thought [Mitchell] did a nice job on him. He contested shots, [Bourff] just hit them.”