In a back-and-forth first half, Trojans’ basketball found themselves ahead 23-21 at home against Hinkley (3-13, 1-3 in conference) Jan. 15. Carried offensively by 16 points (four three-pointers) …
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In a back-and-forth first half, Trojans’ basketball found themselves ahead 23-21 at home against Hinkley (3-13, 1-3 in conference) Jan. 15.
Carried offensively by 16 points (four three-pointers) from senior Izaiah Archuleta and an energetic defensive effort the opening two quarters, Thornton was just getting started, winning by 14 and gaining their first 5A/4A East Metro Conference win of the year.
“I think we did a tremendous job of stepping up, being down two starters,” Thornton coach Bailey Clark said. “Izaiah Archuleta played great, (senior) Caleb Ault played well and made a couple of big threes late. Everybody stepped up.”
Despite no first-half points, Ault found his rhythm in the second with 10 points that included two three’s. Hitting 9-of-21 three-pointers overall as a team, Archuleta made six on 10 attempts, also shooting 64 percent overall, leading Thornton with 24 points.
“He’s done that (shoot the three-pointer) consistently,” Clark said. “The last couple of games he has been shooting very well.”
Trojans’ leading scorer and senior Ricky Poole was held quietly in the scoring department with just seven points on 3-of-6 shooting. However, despite the Hinkley game plan centered around defending Poole, the crafty lefty found other ways to contribute, leading Thornton with 13 rebounds and four assists.
“Hinkley did a really good job of keeping Ricky from scoring,” Clark said. “He averages a double-double, he does everything. He’s our best defender and has begun to do a really good job of playing within himself and tonight was another huge step for him.”
Playing short-handed all night, Thornton played just seven players; all of which scored. Outscoring Hinkley 26-14 in the second half and allowing only five fourth-quarter points, the Trojans’ defense fueled the victory as the Thunderbirds shot 33 percent from the field on the evening.
“Winning two in a row is huge. We have really been working on our transition defense, and I thought that was excellent tonight. Defensively, we held them to 34 points tonight, so we can hang our hat on that.”
After defeating Sheridan two nights later, 73-50, Thornton moved to 6-9 (1-2 in conference) on the season. Winners of three straight and confidence building, the Trojans will host conference foe, Westminster (2-12, 0-4 in conference) Jan. 24 at 6:30 p.m.
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