CRETE | Times No. 5 Thornwood took its time and used patience on Saturday.
But when the opportunity came, the Thunderbirds wasted no time in taking advantage and turning a close game into a 61-42 blowout win over Brooks College Prep at the Crete-Monee Shoot-Out.
Leading 45-40 with 5 minutes, 8 seconds remaining, the Thunderbirds (4-2) used good shot selection and good defense to score 16 unanswered points to run away with the win.
"Coach (Paul Slavich) has been telling us for two years to be patient, don't be in a hurry," Thornwood's Darell Combs said. "At first, we didn't like it, but we are seeing that it is working."
When Brooks (3-3) tried some zone and trap, the Thunderbirds sat back and held the ball. They also did not try to rush through the traps, rather passing and looking for the open man.
"We didn't panic, we played hard and made good passes and played tough defense," said Johntel Shannon, who had a game-high 29 points, 10 of those in the fourth quarter. "Our defense put pressure on them and we didn't let up."
Combs had 18 points, while David Fuller added eight.
Brooks was without two starters. The Eagles's Xavier Wells did a lot of damage through three quarters with 14 points, but was held scoreless in the fourth quarter.
"We played good defense and did what we had to do to stop them," Slavich said. "Offensively, they (Brooks) did a lot of trapping, but I was glad we took our time and beat their press and traps."
At one point in the third quarter, Thornwood held the ball for over a minute when Brooks would not come out of its zone.
"We knew they would have to come out," Combs said. "We just brought the ball out."