BOYS BASKETBALL

Thornwood sharpshooters stave off Bloom

2013-12-10T22:30:00Z 2014-06-11T20:35:22Z Thornwood sharpshooters stave off BloomPhil Arvia Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
December 10, 2013 10:30 pm  • 

SOUTH HOLLAND | Donte Thomas didn't take a lot of shots Tuesday. But he made a lot of the ones he did take.

The 6-foot-6 Thornwood swingman made seven of his 11 field goal attempts — including six in a row from the five-minute mark of the second quarter through the 6:50 mark of the fourth — as the Thunderbirds held off Times No. 3 Bloom 64-60 in a nonconference contest.

For the night, Thomas had 18 points and 15 rebounds as Thornwood (4-2) won its fourth straight. He took four three-point attempts, making his last three.

"That was my downfall last year," Thomas said. "My coach and I really worked on it this summer. You can't just go to the basket in college."

Bloom would have liked to, more often, in the Thunderbirds' gym.

"We weren't finishing around the basket," first-year Bloom coach Ron Ashlaw said. "A lot of points didn't make it to the scoreboard in the first half. … We would love to see more interior touches."

Bloom's frontcourt stalwarts, Jared Johnson and James Coleman, finished with 20 and 10 points, respectively. But Johnson had just six points through three quarters. Bloom (3-3), relying on the outside shooting of Zerell Johnson (18 points), trailed by 12 heading into the final period.

"Those are three solid ballplayers from a club that went to the sectional championship last year," Thornwood coach Paul Slavich said. "We tried to get up on all three and make them work, wear them down a little bit."

The reverse nearly happened. On the strength of a 23-5 run in the second quarter, featuring seven points from Donte Thomas and nine from Brian Thomas, Thornwood turned a 15-12 deficit after the first quarter into a 37-26 lead at the half.

The Thunderbirds, who were 22-of-44 from the floor for the night, pushed the lead to 15 early in the third quarter, but Bloom turned up the defensive pressure and Thornwood, after committing just six turnovers in the first half, gave the ball away 15 times over the final two quarters.

It wasn't until Donzel Vinson hit two free throws with four seconds left that Thornwood could finally breath easy.

"They had their way in the second quarter," Ashlaw said. "They got whatever they wanted offensively, forced us to do what we didn't want. They won that quarter.

"We won the other three, but games are four quarters."

Brian Thomas finished with 11 points for Thornwood, while Rashaad Alexander added 10 and Kenneth Bates seven points and nine rebounds.

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