Friday, Feb. 4, 2011
By Michael O'Brien
Its been a frustrating three weeks for Thornton senior Jay Parker, missing games and practice with a sprained right ankle.
But he was right where the Wildcats needed him Friday, scoring eight points in the fourth quarter to help No. 8 Thornton knock off visiting Andrew 66-54.
A free throw from highly-regarded sophomore Jubril Adekoya with 6:44 to play in the game cut Thorntons lead to five points thats when Parker took over. He drained a three, converted a steal and layup, made another three and then threw the assist on DeChaun Williams dunk.
(The ankle) felt good, Parker said. I was missing a lot of shots in the beginning of the game, but my teammates kept looking for me.
Parker finished with 14 points. Williams and Brian Greene Jr. each added 11 for the Wildcats (17-1, 8-0 SouthWest Suburban Blue).
Parker came back strong, Thornton coach Troy Jackson said. You have to give him a lot of credit coming right in and doing that coming off an injury."
Andrew was completely unable to handle Thorntons full-court press defense. The Thunderbolts turned the ball over 26 times.
It actually didnt bother them the first time we played, Jackson said. Maybe not being able to practice this week bothered them.
Andrew led throughout the first quarter, but the Wildcats dominated the second and scored the first five points of the third quarter to lead 35-22.
The Thunderbolts cut the lead down to four and five points multiple times before Parker turned it on in the fourth quarter.
It was my time to score I guess, Parker said. We have a lot of guys on this team that can score and we can all handle the ball. The past few years Ive handled it a lot, its nice to know sometimes I can focus on scoring if I have to.
Junior Alex Zappavigna led Andrew (10-8, 4-4) with 20 points and five rebounds. Adekoya scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Adekoya is going to be a real good one, Jackson said. They have a few young players, Andrew has a bright future.