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Boys Basketball: Thornwood turns back Bloom

Chicago 12/10/13--Jordan Ash St. Joseph goes basket over De LSalle's Tyler Lewis. | Vincent D. Johnson/for Sun-Times Media

Chicago, 12/10/13--Jordan Ash, of St. Joseph, goes to the basket over De La Salle's Tyler Lewis. | Vincent D. Johnson/for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 12, 2014 6:30AM

Thornwood’s Donte Thomas misfired on his first field-goal attempt Tuesday night against Bloom.

He wouldn’t miss again.

Thomas netted 18 points on nine shots and hauled in 15 rebounds as host Thornwood survived a late Bloom rally for a 64-60 victory.

“When Donte turns it on, I don’t think there is anyone who can guard him,” Thornwood coach Paul Slavich said.

The Bradley-bound Thomas used his 6-foot-6 frame to score in a variety of ways.

He scored two buckets via offensive rebounds, attacked the paint in transition and showed off his newly polished long-range marksmanship, burying a three-pointer in each of the final three quarters.

“I’ve really worked on my shot because that was my downfall last year,” Thomas said. “You can’t just rely on going to the basket, because in college, it ain’t going to be that easy.”

Bloom (3-3) led 15-12 after the first quarter but Thornwood (4-2) ripped of a 20-3 run, capped by a basket by Brian Thomas, who scored nine of his 11 points in the decisive second stanza.

Bloom trailed by as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter, but Jared Johnson cut Thornwood’s lead to 60-58 on two free throws and later to 62-60 on a putback.

Johnson scored 14 in the final period and finished with a game-high 20 points. Zerell Jackson chipped in 18 and James Coleman added 10 points and five rebounds.

“Our issue was we weren’t finishing around the basket,” Bloom coach Ron Ashlaw said. “That’s been a problem in a few games. Our guys aren’t poised around the rim.”

Part of the plight was Thornwood’s 6-foot-9 Kenneth Bates, who started the second half and finished with seven rebounds and four blocks. Rashad Alexander added 12 points for the Thunderbirds, who have now won four straight.

The contest was scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. opening tip, but didn’t start until 7:40 after the schools’ sophomore game went five overtimes. Thornwood’s sophomores topped Bloom’s sophs 63-62 in what was announced as a school record for longest game.

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