Friday, Dec. 31, 2010
By Tim O'Brien
Watching the varsity squad win the 2008 Big Dipper as a sophomore, Thorntons Brian Greene Jr. couldnt help but think that he wanted to be part of that championship feeling.
So after the Wildcats were knocked out in the semifinals in 2009, the senior swingman made sure he left his impression on the 2010 McDipper.
Scoring 22 points and being named tournament MVP, Greene Jr. led Thornton to a 57-55 win in the McDipper championship Thursday night over Crete-Monee.
This feels great, and I watched that 2008 team win it and always wanted to be a part of the team, Greene Jr. said. I wanted to win that championship, and we did it as a team effort. Everybody made big plays.
The tournament title is Thorntons seventh and first since 2008. Greenes 20 points led the Wildcats (12-0) with Jay Parker (eight points) and Antonio Levy (seven) contributing.
It means so much for the program and the community with the bragging rights, Thornton coach Troy Jackson said. (Brian) played out of his mind. He grew up and matured and is definitely a Division I prospect.
Thornton only trailed twice the entire game but consistently found the Warriors nipping at their heels. After a back and forth fourth quarter, it was Cretes LaQuon Treadwells three-pointer from the right wing that tied the game at 55 with 1:43 remaining in the game.
Parker responded with a driving basket that proved to be the game-winner to put Thornton up at 57-55 with 1:23 to go.
In the closing seconds, Jamee Crockett had one last shot at sending the game to overtime with a long jumper from the left side, but the shot hit the far rim where Thorntons Charles Knowles corralled the rebound to preserve the win.
You have to execute down the stretch and get every defensive rebound, and we didnt do that in certain possessions, Crete-Monee coach Matt Ryndak said. We gave up some second shots and turned the ball over, and you cant do those things against Thornton.
Crockett finished with 20 points for Crete-Monee (9-2) who finished in second place for the second straight season after losing to Hales a year ago. Marvie Keith (14 points) and Michael Orris (12 points) also chipped in for the Warriors.