Thornton retooling; growth an expectation in 2019-2020

Adam Hothersall
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 11/27/19

Thornton basketball heads into the season under unique circumstances. As this youthful Trojans group takes on their last season in Division 5A with 4A on the horizon, head coach Bailey Clark has …

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Thornton retooling; growth an expectation in 2019-2020

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Thornton basketball heads into the season under unique circumstances.

As this youthful Trojans group takes on their last season in Division 5A with 4A on the horizon, head coach Bailey Clark has quite the challenge. Coming off of their best record of 9-14 (4-6 in conference) in Clark’s tenure last year, winning now, but grooming for the future is the story for Thornton in this year’s campaign.

Headlining the senior class — that lost eight to graduation last year — three to six are expected to make up the roster, including playmakers Alfonso Salais and Lyndon Pacheco.

Salais comes off a broken wrist halfway through last season and according to Clark, is very hungry to get better in looking towards playing at the next level. Pacheco will be the primary inside presence for the Trojans as he continues to build off of his fantastic offseason.

Also expected to contribute in a big way, junior point guard Anthony Sandoval looks to direct the offense after playing little varsity minutes a year ago as a sophomore. Clark believes his game-manager to be “special” with the starting group potentially.

Beyond the knowns, younger players will also be asked to contribute to growing the depth of this team throughout the season. Sophomore football player and exceptional athlete, Miles Poole is one of the youngsters who could see time as well as a handful of others that will carry this team into 4A a year from now.

“It’s fun with younger guys because you coach them and things start clicking because their learning curve is so high, so I’m excited for that process,” Clark said in a phone interview. “Now that my coaches and I have been here for a little bit, the kids know the drills, know the expectations, so things should be a lot smoother. What really helped us last year is that we were able to coach instead of just teach. We don’t keep many guys on varsity, so they are going to get a lot of playing time, and it should be a good transition here.”

Thornton will begin their season Dec. 4 at home against Hinkley.

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