Upperman Basketball Earn Wins Over Mt. Juliet And Loretto

The Upperman Bees and Lady Bees swept their matchups on Saturday, with the Bees winning 47-29 over Mt. Juliet and the Lady Bees earning a 53-40 win over Loretto.

Bees 47 – Mt. Juliet 29

The Bees earned their fourth straight win with the 18 point win over the Bears.

“I was pretty pleased,” said UHS head coach Bobby McWilliams. “Defensively, we were a lot more in tune with each other in this game than we’ve been. Offensively, we got some really good looks today. For the most part, I’m pretty happy.”

The two teams battled throughout the first quarter, but Collin Gore made a layup late in the frame to give UHS an 11-10 lead.

Gore then began to take over the game in the second quarter, tallying 10-straight UHS points and giving Upperman a 24-14 lead.

Jaxon Fox tallied five straight in the third to push the UHS lead to 33-18. The Bears cut the deficit to 11, but Gore hit a three at the buzzer to give Upperman a 14 point lead.

Alex Rush made a basket in the fourth to stretch the lead to 20, and the Bees rolled to the 47-29 victory.

The game marked the first time Upperman (4-1) has pulled away from an opponent during their four-game winning streak. McWilliams said it was a point of emphasis.

“We’ve not managed that part of the game very well this season,” said McWilliams. “Today, we talked about making sure we managed the game a little bit better. We’ve got seniors on the floor at all times. There’s no excuse why you can’t finish a game off.”

Gore led the way with 27 points. With the Bees playing without Isaiah Allen, McWilliams said Gore’s 53 points in the past two games have been critical.

“It’s good to see him get going,” said McWilliams. “He’s playing with the energy, freedom and looseness that I want him to be able to play with. We miss Isaiah in a lot of ways, but Collin’s been able to step in there.”

Fox tallied 12 points while Rush added eight.

The Bees will return to action Tuesday when they host Stone Memorial. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Lady Bees 53 – Loretto 40

The Lady Bees remained undefeated with the 14-point win over single-A powerhouse Loretto.

The Lady Bees used a strong third quarter to propel themselves to their second win in two days over strong opponents.

“Loretto’s such a great team,” said UHS head coach Dana McWilliams. “They played a really good game. I felt pretty good overall. I couldn’t be more proud of how our effort was defensively.”

The Lady Mustangs controlled the game early in the first quarter, racing out to a 7-12 lead. Five straight points by Reagan Hurst made it 11-12. She added a layup late in the frame to give the Lady Bees a 15-13 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Torie Brooks hit a three then a layup to give UHS a 22-15 lead. The two teams then went back-and-forth throughout the second quarter, with Upperman taking a 30-26 lead into halftime.

The Lady Mustangs struggled to solve the UHS press defense, as the Lady Bees outscored LHS 14-2 in the third to take a 44-28 lead into the fourth quarter.

Brooklyn Crouch made two free throws to stretch the UHS lead to 48-33. The Lady Mustangs then scored five straight, but it was too late as Upperman earned the 13-point win.

“We knew our schedule was going to be really tough,” said McWilliams. “The teams we’re playing are really high level teams. We’re hoping it prepares us for district play.”

Hurst led the way with 19 points. Brooks tallied 13 while Crouch added 12.

UHS topped AAA powerhouse Bradley Central on Friday before defeating Loretto on Saturday. McWilliams said she is happy with where her 5-0 team is at.

“It’s early in the year,” said McWilliams. “I could give you a long list of things we’re not doing that well, but I think overall our energy and our effort… has been really good for the beginning of the year. That has to do with having a veteran team. They’ve been so hungry to play.”

The Lady Bees will return to action Tuesday when they will take on Stone Memorial. The game will be broadcasted live on the UCR Facebook page with pregame coverage starting at 5:50 p.m.

Photos by Noah McKay: