HARVEY | Thornton's boys basketball team wasn't about to make the same mistake twice.
After surrendering an eight-point lead, and the victory, to Thornwood on Tuesday night, the fourth-ranked Wildcats weren't going to let up against Thornridge, their other district rival, on Friday night.
Getting going? That took a few minutes, but when coach Troy Jackson put Keyvonte Woods in the lineup to start the second quarter, things changed.
Woods' jumper at the outset triggered a 25-point quarter, of which he would contribute nine points, seven in the first three minutes. And that outburst was the starting point for Thornton's 79-52 rout of the Falcons.
"This was very important after Thornwood," Jackson said. "This was a great bounceback win. Good teams seem to bounce back after losses like that."
The triumph improved the Wildcats to 13-5, 7-2 in the SouthWest Suburban Red. With the rest of the month featuring games on each Tuesday and Friday, and next week at Andrew and Lincoln-Way West, every win is vital.
Jackson kicked himself after Tuesday's game for ordering the wrong inbounds play in the final seconds. Friday, his inserting Woods, the third player off the bench, when he did was a stroke of genius. Woods had been studying Thornridge's zone and saw a weak point.
"I saw a lot of gaps in their 2-3; it was very wide, so I could penetrate the gap, and if they closed it, I was open to shoot," Jackson said. "If the coach needs buckets, that's what I give him."
He started the quarter with a mid-ranger jumper, drilled a 3-pointer 2:11 in, hit a pair of free-throws seven seconds later, and connected on a driving scoop shot with four seconds left in the half. Nine points for the quarter and the game, with his first seven the most important.
"Our first three (off the bench) can go in any order," Jackson said. "He always seems to give us a little spark."
Justin Taylor scored 19 points and added seven rebounds for Thornton, numbers Jackson was pleased to see. Da'Marques Turner added 11 for the Wildcats.
The Falcons (7-17, 3-6) had no answer for anything Thornton proffered. Victor Trout and Xavier Robinson each scored 15 points for Thornridge, but six of Trout's and seven of Robinson's came in the fourth quarter, when their deficit began at 19 and escalated to 27.