BY DEAN HOCKNEY
For the first time in 20 years, a coach other than Jeff Fisher earned a victory on the Taylor boys basketball sideline. After a tough 67-58 opening night loss on the road to a very good Lapel (3-0) squad, the Titans bounced back to knock off Tri-Central 70-54 for Andy Lewman’s first win as the Taylor head coach. The following night, Lewman and his Titans snared a statement win as they knocked off Class 2A No. 17 Oak Hill 55-50.
“It felt good,” said Lewman after his first varsity victory. “Our guys played well in spurts (against Tri-Central) but I saw some overall improvement from the Lapel game. It is going to take a little bit of time to get some things ironed out.”
As with any new coach, Lewman acknowledges that it will take time for his squad to understand his system and coaching philosophy.
“It is just a matter of getting more reps and more time in the game,” said Lewman. “They have to get more familiar with it before they get better. Again, it will take some time.”
Lewman found a star emerging as senior Dale Ray Washington led the Titans against Tri-Central with a double-double of 19 points and 14 rebounds. He followed that with a team-leading 11 points in the upset victory over Oak Hill.
“He has looked more comfortable and his energy on the defensive end really helped the team,” said Lewman. “I liked what I saw and he is improving. That is some night (against Tri-Central) for a young man.”
But despite the good start, Lewman does not want his Titans to coast through the season.
“We still have a ways to go, but it will come,” said Lewman. “It is an early part of the season and we have a long way to go. In an ideal situation, you would want to be ramped up by Christmas, but I am still learning about these kids and they are learning about me. We are making progress and I am happy.”
Taylor (2-1) is back on the floor Friday night when they host Northwestern (2-1) at 7:30 p.m.