Uplift’s magical run has been one of the great early-season narratives. The Titans’ 11-0 start has largely occurred out of the spotlight of other top Public League programs.
On the big stage of the Proviso West Holiday tournament, the Titans proved their legitimacy.
Senior guard Augustin Tronou registered a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds in leading five double-figure scorers as the No. 21 Titans ran past St. Charles East 81-71 in a first-round game Monday in Hillside.
The Titans advance to meet No. 25 Morton in second-round play on Thursday.
Tronou scored 12 of his game-high total in the first half.
“We’re ranked but that’s not enough,” Tronou said. “We want to win the Proviso tournament, so people see us more. All the big teams are here and we’re trying to make a name for ourselves.”
The Titans (12-0) overcame foul trouble to star junior forward Jeremy Roscoe (20 points) and senior guard Quintin Olagbegi (19 points, seven assists). Roscoe had a hot start, scoring eight quick points though he picked up his third foul with 1:19 to play in the opening quarter.
Olagbegi also secured three fouls in the first half.
The entertaining and fast-paced first half featured four ties and three lead changes as Uplift held a 37-34 advantage. St. Charles East (5-5) made five three-pointers in the first half to hover around.
Uplift pulled away midway late in the third quarter. Olagbegi scored on back-to-back breakaways and 6-6 junior forward Jamaya Wyatt (11 points, 12 rebounds) scored on a putback for a 54-46 advantage.
Tronou buried a three-pointer from the right baseline and Wyatt scored inside as Uplift built its largest advantage at 13 points. Wyatt’s rebounding prowess keyed the Titans’ 41-30 edge on the glass.
St. Charles East guard Dom Adduci opened the game by draining a three-pointer, but otherwise struggled with his shot. Uplift’s speed and quickness harassed him into 3-for-14 shooting as he finished with 11 points.
Reserve forward Jake Asquini hit five three-pointers to lead the Saints with 15 points. Cole Gentry and Mick Vyzral each contributed 14 points.
The Saints’ difficulty was not scoring but in preventing Uplift from getting to the basket at will. “We wanted a test, we got it and we failed it,” St. Charles East coach Patrick Woods said. “I didn’t think we played very well. We shot 26-65 from the field and we got killed on the boards.
“That’s usually a very bad combination.”
Reserve Deshon Fluckes hit 4 of 5 from the field in adding 10 points for the Titans, which shot 54 percent (30-for-54).
“We were all kind of nervous at the start, but we’re glad we got it out of the way,” Tronou said.