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February 27, 2012

Scrappy Taylor looks to build on momentum

No. 7 Blue Devils are the team to beat at Tipton

Taylor’s boys basketball team endured a five-game losing streak late in the regular season, but won two of its final three to build some momentum for sectional play. Taylor beat North Miami 58-45 in its regular-season finale last week.

Taylor will take an 8-13 record into the Class 2A Sectional 39 at Tipton. Taylor opens against Elwood (10-11) tonight.

“I think Thursday definitely gave us the confidence we’re looking for heading into the tournament,” Taylor coach Andy Lewman said. “We shot the ball much better than we had shot it in the few games before that. … And getting the win was a big deal in respect to having a head of steam heading into the week. We know if we want to be alive [after] Saturday, we have to play three solid games. But you have to take it one step at a time and Elwood is definitely going to present a challenge.”

No. 7-ranked Tipton (19-3) faces Madison-Grant (11-10) in the 6 p.m. opener today. Taylor and Elwood will follow in the second game, at approximately 7:45 p.m. Eastern drew one of the byes and will face the Taylor-Elwood winner on Friday.

The following are looks at tonight’s games at Tipton along with other early-week games in the area.

Taylor vs. Elwood

Taylor snapped its aforementioned five-game losing streak with a 57-52 victory at Elwood on Feb. 11. The Titans trailed 30-20 at halftime and 37-31 after three quarters, then roared back in the fourth quarter to grab the win.

Taylor was without point guard Justin Wheeler that day. Lewman noted Elwood went without a key player, too.

Elwood is led by wing Korbin Buster, who is a 1,000-point scorer. Buster had a 51-point game against Madison-Grant during the regular season. He had 22 against Taylor in round one.

Lewman noted the Panthers also have a solid post player and another good wing player.

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