Jan. 27 against conference opponent Prairie View, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Thornton ladies basketball — who had won five of their last six contests. Leading once at 4-2, the Lady Trojans …
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Jan. 27 against conference opponent Prairie View, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Thornton ladies basketball — who had won five of their last six contests. Leading once at 4-2, the Lady Trojans didn’t reclaim the lead until there was 4:09 left in the game, clinching their fifth conference win in five tries.
“I try not to show (excitement) it because I don’t want the girls thinking I’m looking too far ahead, but I tell them to play every game like it’s your last,” Thornton coach Khari Wallace said after the game. “That’s our motto right now. We played Rangeview a couple of weeks ago, had a big victory, and come out and struggled a little bit last Saturday against Loveland, but they fought. Normally, you don’t see that out of a Thornton team. This is my fourth year, and we haven’t seen that fight every game like we are doing now. Just seeing that is a joy as a coach.”
In the first two quarters for the road team, only 10 points in each frame put the Thornton deficit at 27-20 at halftime. Keeping the Lady Trojans afloat, senior Shamahra Henderson fought to record 11 of her teams’ points as her partner in crime junior Monique Delatorre started slowly with just three points at the break. Luckily in the second half, Henderson got help, and Thornton outscored PV 27-13.
“I don’t think there are really words to describe how important she is. She’s everything,” Wallace said of Henderson. “She means that much to this team, she means that much to me, and we can’t take her off the court. She has to be out there for 32 minutes the way she is playing right now.”
Closing the gap to two with 2:32 left in the third quarter, Thornton couldn’t prevail to take the advantage. Still, constant defensive pressure late in the third, early in the fourth, eventually gave the road team the lead three minutes and 51 seconds into the final frame on a 3-pointer from sophomore Katherine Prado. Reclaiming their lead at 42-41 with 1:38 left, Prairie View looked to steal the game back, but a clutch jumper by Delatorre 28 seconds later placed Thornton with the edge again, and they never gave it back.
“We drew up the last two plays for Prado. She didn’t take the first three, and I yelled at her. Then next chance she had, she took the shot and made it. When she makes shots like that, her confidence grows. She rose to the occasion tonight. She struggled the first two quarters, but that third and fourth, I couldn’t take her off the court,” Wallace said.
Per usual, Henderson’s team-leading 21 points, 15 rebounds, and five assists sprung the Trojans. Delatorre followed with nine points while Prado recorded eight. Delatorre also tallied a team-high four steals as she, Prado, and junior Yazmeen Reyes accounted for four rebounds apiece.
Wrapping up the week in a strongly, Thornton defeated Westminster 58-31 to move to 14-3 on the season.
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