BOYS BASKETBALL | MCDIPPER XLI

Thornton, Marian advance to semifinals of McDipper

2013-12-27T22:15:00Z 2013-12-28T02:02:20Z Thornton, Marian advance to semifinals of McDipperMike Nieto mike.nieto@nwi.com, (219) 933-3232 nwitimes.com
December 27, 2013 10:15 pm  • 

RICHTON PARK | Justin Taylor and Jamani Pierce knew they and their Thornton teammates were starting to let the game get away from them.

A smaller King team was outhustling and outrebounding the Wildcats.

They said that was when they got going and never stopped as Thornton beat King 59-45 in one quarterfinal Friday at the McDipper XLI. With the win, the Wildcats (6-3) will face Bolingbrook, a 66-59 winner over Rich South, at 7 p.m. today in one semifinal.

Marian Catholic made short work of Rich East with an 81-63 win in the nightcap.

It will play Joliet Central, a 57-54 winner over Hales Franciscan at 8:30 p.m. in the other semifinal.

Thornton went on a 12-0 run from the end of the third quarter and part of the fourth as it turned a 37-36 deficit into a 48-37 lead. It held the Jaguars scoreless for 5 minutes, 32 seconds.

"That was the difference right there," Taylor said. "We got them to turn the ball over and we got some baskets."

Taylor finished with a game-high 23 points, including three 3-pointers.

"We started forcing turnovers, not letting them get inside on us and then things changed," Taylor said. "We got good guards and we were maybe playing a little too fast, but they took control and slowed the game down."

Thornton had control early, but let King back in as the Jaguars finished the first half on a 9-3 run to close within 28-26. Thornton coach Troy Jackson said he gave his team a good talking to.

"I won't tell you exactly what I said, but I told them we were really doing some dumb stuff, playing sloppy and playing half-hearted defense," Jackson said. "I told them to do what we usually do and none of that dumb stuff."

Pierce said the Wildcats took some time to get into their game, but when they did, things took off.

There was no way they should have controlled the boards, we were bigger," Pierce said. "They were getting a lot of second shots and we stopped that and we stopped turning the ball over.

Pierce finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Marian (8-1) pulled away from the Rockets in the second quarter as the Spartans took a commanding 47-28 halftime lead and built it to 65-38 in the third.

Coach Mike Taylor cleared his bench, but was not happy with the total play.

"We were a little sloppy," Taylor said. "That is the fine line of getting kids playing time and keeping the machine oiled."

He also said he was happy the way his first team played.

"We got turnovers and a lot of layups," Taylor said.

Terrone Parham led the way with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Tyler Ulis had 16 points, six assists and four steals as 12 different Spartans scored.

Parham said he and his teammates want to get back to the championship.

"Last year, people didn't expect us to win it and we did," Parham said. "We want to defend our title and of course, a bigger goal is to get to state."

Joliet Central 57, Hales Franciscan 54: The Steelmen were led by Joan Cable's 19 points and seven rebounds in the quarterfinal win.

Bolingbrook 66, Rich South 59: Julian Torres' 14 points and nine rebounds led the Raiders (7-1) past the Stars in one quarterfinal.

Prentiss Nixon also had 14 points and Joshua Dillnigham added 12 points.

Rich South was led by Myles McCoy and Denzel Kimbrough with 15 points each.

Crete-Monee 51, Chicago University 44: Bobby Parker's 13 points and five rebounds led the Warriors (8-3) past the Maroons in the consolation bracket.

Crete-Monee trailed 34-33 after three quarters, but outscored Chicago University 18-10 in the fourth quarter.

Daniel Blackful added 10 points.

Perspectives Charter 58, Seton Academy 56: Christopher Seaton's game-high 23 points led the Sting in the consolation bracket loss.

Dylan Snyder added 18.

Perspectives Charter 58, Seton Academy 56: Christopher Seaton's game-high 23 points led the Sting in the consolation bracket loss.

Dylan Snyder added 18.

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