RICHTON PARK | Laquon Treadwell wasn't feeling well over the extended holiday weekend, under the weather enough that the Crete-Monee senior missed Monday's Christmas Eve practice.
Thus, coach Tom Cappel made the decision to have Treadwell come off the bench, inserted into the lineup in the second quarter.
From that point on, it became obvious Treadwell was showing no effects of his recent illness. He scored 14 points in the second quarter and finished with 25 points and 13 rebounds to help the Times No. 3 Warriors defeat Thornton 73-56 in the Rich South McDipper 40 Tournament.
"It's kind of different," Treadwell said of coming off the bench.
"When you start, you get a rhythm for the game early. When you come off the bench, you've just got to come out with intensity, something I always bring. It was kind of easy to me. I picked up with the flow really quick."
Indeed, Treadwell made it look easy, going 10-of-11 from the field, only missing a 3-pointer. Treadwell attacked the basket without a second thought, and the end result was a 5-for-6 performance from the free-throw line.
"He makes everybody else play harder," Cappel said. "It's contagious. He's one of those gifted kids, but he's hardly a kid anymore if you look at him."
With Treadwell on the court in the second quarter, the Warriors (10-1) outscored Thornton 24-14 to take a 35-26 lead at halftime, a deficit the Wildcats (3-6) were unable to make up.
Treadwell wasn't the only Crete-Monee player on fire.
Mark Conner went 7-for-9 with 17 points while Brandon Johnson finished 4-for-5 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line for 12 points. The Warriors shot 28-for-47 overall.
"The kids came to fight," Cappel said. "When they come to fight, they're pretty good."
The Wildcats were out-rebounded 33-21 and shot 21-for-45 overall from the field.
"We weren't rebounding, they got a lot of easy shots and we couldn't make up that nine points from the first half," Thornton coach Troy Jackson said. "I like my guys, and we're going to be much better as we go along."
Brian Nicholson paced the Wildcats with 14 points. Justin Taylor added 12 points while Justin Montgomery chipped in 10.
The Warriors will face Chicago King, 67-62 winners over Bolingbrook, at 4 p.m. today. Thornton will face Bolingbrook at 9 a.m. in the consolation bracket.