Boys Basketball: Thornton outlasts Bloom
By Michael O’Brien firstname.lastname@example.org February 18, 2014 9:42PM
Leslie Wilson, of Thornton, brings the ball up court against Bloom at Thornton Township, Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 in Harvey | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 19, 2014 2:20AM
It would be easy to think that Da’Marques Turner spent several hours a week practicing three-pointers from the left side of the arc on the west side of Thornton’s gym.
The 5-foot-8 guard drained four three-pointers from the same spot in the third quarter of the Wildcats’ 62-52 win Tuesday night over Bloom in Harvey. Turns out there isn’t anything special at all about that particular spot to Turner.
“I feel like I can hit it all over,” he said. “It’s just my teammates were able to find me open in that spot.”
Turner finished with 15 points, but it was those 12 in the third quarter that broke Bloom’s back. Thornton (16-5) led by just three points when his hot shooting streak began.
Another unknown Thornton player stepped up and gave a major contribution. Brian Davis, a 6-6 junior, came off the bench and scored five points and grabbed five rebounds. He also spent a significant amount of time guarding Jared Johnson, Bloom’s top player.
Johnson, a 6-5 forward, is a difficult match-up for most teams. Very few high school players can match his size and agility. Thornton just happens to have two guys who can: Davis and 6-6 Justin Taylor (9 points, 8 rebounds).
“I’ve guarded (Johnson) a lot in the summer league games before,” Davis said. “So I knew how he played and knew it was a good match-up for me.”
Davis has played sparingly this season, which is common for juniors at Thornton.
“I started on the sophomore team, so it has been an adjustment,” Davis said. “But I know that’s the system here. I just have to be ready to contribute when I get in.”
Jamani Pierce added 12 points and five rebounds for the Wildcats and Leslie Wilson scored 10 with four boards.
“We are much better than we were in November,” Thornton coach Troy Jackson said. “I wouldn’t say we are firing on all cylinders, but we’re close.”
Johnson finished with 16 points and James Coleman added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Blazing Trojans (14-8).
Bloom coach Ron Ashlaw said he wasn’t expecting Turner and Davis to make such major contributions in the game.
“We would have liked to have more information (on Thornton),” Ashlaw said. “Sometimes it happens, guys come in and give what the team needs.”