Prep - blue pg 9 11-8-18

Blue pulls out win
Late in the second half, Kaleb Thornton was clutching his knees, looking for air.
“(Thetford Academy) was a really tough team,” the Woodstock Academy Blue prep basketball team point guard admitted after his team was tested Nov. 4.
Fortunately, the Centaurs pulled out an 83-76 win over the Thetford Academy (Quebec, Canada) Gold squad in the season-opening Woodstock Academy Invitational tournament at the Alumni Fieldhouse.
“I have to give it up to them. I haven’t had that type of pressure in a while, but we came out with the win and that’s all that matters,” Thornton added.
The win raised the Centaurs record to 2-0.
“That’s good, winning is what matters, but we have to build on this because we know that effort isn’t going to get us a championship ring. We have to be better and I think we will,” Thornton said.
The Centaurs jumped out to the early 8-0 lead when Darweshi Hunter scored five of his 10 points in the first 2 minutes, 11 seconds.
The lead would rise to 11, 17-6, following an Isaiah Jones 3-pointer.
But Thetford Gold didn’t go away and got it back to nine in the closing minutes of the first half before a 7-0 Woodstock Academy run, highlighted by a Thornton (20 points) 3-pointer, made it 46-30 at the break.
That double-digit lead held until just 5:17 was left in the game.
Thetford Academy cut it to eight, 71-63, on a basket by Laouis Msambaya (22 points).
Five straight points by the Centaurs’ Dyson Frank (9 points) re-established the double-digit lead, but only briefly as Thetford roared back with a 10-2 run to cut it to five, 78-73, with 59 seconds left.
“I think we give an excellent effort, but when we get tired on defense, we start to slack and teams get easy buckets. We have to stop those easy buckets and we will be a lot more successful,” Thornton said.
Thetford was forced to foul and Thornton and Siddiq Canty (11 points) both hit a pair of free throws to salt the victory away.
It was much easier in the season opener for the Blue squad Nov. 3 when it handed the Thetford Academy Black squad an 83-49 defeat.
“It was really nice,” forward Jeff Planutis said of finally getting to play a game that had meaning. “We’ve been going against each other for the past two months that I’ve been here. So, it’s fun going against someone else for a change.”
Hunter scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half while Ty Mosley scored all eight of his points and Frank eight of his 10 as the Centaurs broke out to a 47-22 lead by the half.
The Centaurs maintained that comfortable lead and even extended it in the second half with a combination of good offense, but more importantly, tenacious defense.
“We all try to play our best defense because that’s the thing here. If you’re not playing ‘D’, you are taken right out and everybody wants to play and do their thing. You have to take playing tough defense to heart,” Planutis said.
Planutis finished with 11 points and Canty added 10.
The Centaurs Blue squad next plays in the Power 5 Conference Tip Off Tournament at Woodstock Academy at 6 p.m. Nov. 10 and 10 a.m. Nov. 11.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director
The Woodstock Academy


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