The Florida Rams’ Jimel Lane took one dribble and found a seam, laying in a left hander off the backboard and watching intently as the ball rolled around the rim and suddenly took a fortuitous bounce in.
This particular bucket, in the Rams’ second half surge during a 62-55 win against Rock U at the Tarheel Takeover at Deerfield Beach Saturday, elicited a smile from even Lane himself.
There wasn’t a lot of room for smiles across the Rams’ convincing performances at the DS Sports Complex.
It was simply no laughing matter as the Rams connected on timely shots, applied high pressure defense all across the court throughout, permeated the driving lanes, and kicked in the extra pass.
Lane scored 27 points on an array of hard finishes and above the rim finishes and outside shots, garnering Player of The Game honors during an event opening, thorough 68-40 thrashing of SOH Elite.
The tough and hard driving Ryan Sanchez catalyzed the Rams, scoring 29 points to spearhead them to a pulsating 64-57 come from behind win over Shahbaz.
A lefty, Sanchez carved his way to the rim early and often and finished through traffic and contact.
Buoyed by two timely 3-pointers off the bench from Jace Budin, Florida reeled off a game altering 13-0 second half spurt, one which fired a stake through Shahbaz’ collective heart.
The Riviera Prep-based team had significant performances from 6-foot-7 Class of 2023 forward Osmar Garcia Araujo and poised 5-foot-9 point guard Esteban Lluberes.
Araujo displayed a refined post game and a deft short range jumper. Lluberes exemplified leadership with his ability to trigger the high low game, facilitate the attack, and provide timely three-level scoring.
With 6-foot-8 Malik Reneau leaving for the nationally acclaimed Montverde Academy in the Orlando area, there may have been some lingering feeling that the Mater Academy program loses luster.
A significant percentage of Mater’s offense ran through Reneau, a high major target with a deft left handed touch and refined arsenal of post moves.
On Saturday, with roughly 88 percent of Mater Academy’s 2020-21 roster represented through the Rams, it was clear Reneau’s loss will be simply filled by committee.
With Lane, who manufactured points in a variety of ways with multiple games of 25+ at the Tarheel Takeover Saturday.
The well built 6-foot-6 Lane simultaneously proved he can shoulder the scoring load as a high efficiency, volume scorer who doesn’t require a lot of shots.