Thorndale opens district with gritty win over Flo
The scheme worked perfectly as the Bulldogs limited Florence to four points in the fourth quarter in a 46-34 District 27-2A opening victory over the Buffaloes Monday afternoon at Bulldog Gymnasium.
Thorndale improved to 9-3 overall after consecutive losses to Milano and Holland.
With its fourth straight loss, Florence stands 6-6.
Engaged in a back-and-forth affair, the lead changed hands eight times in the first half until Dillon Ir w in’s three- pointer from deep in the left corner with 25 seconds left in the first half pushed Thorndale ahead for good, 22-19 at intermission.
Irwin—who finished with a game-high 20 points—continued his gunnery at the outset of the second half, following a free throw with a spin move in the lane and following his own miss for a basket for a 27-19 lead.
However, the Bulldogs froze up on offense again and went over four minutes with out a basket and by the time Aaron Laurence hit from inside, Thorndale’s lead had been sliced to 29-27.
R iley Schaefer’s four f ree throws and Irwin’s pull up in the lane gave the Bulldogs some space at 37-30 and after Ben Frutrell’s drive to the basket made it 37-32 with 5:22 remaining to be played, the Buffaloes would not strike again until the buzzer sounded.
It’s not the fact that fact that Florence couldn’t get a shot to fall, it was that they weren’t getting any shots.
The Buffs attempted just eight shots and were 0- for- 3 from behind the arc and missed both their free throw attempts.
“Our defense against Florence was really good,” Thorndale Coach Doug Franklin said. “It was so good we caused some frustration with their players. In the first half they made seven shots from the field, six of those were from beyond 15 feet. So they shot the ball well in the first half when they got shots up. The good thing is they didn’t get a whole lot of shots up during those two periods.
“In the second half they didn’t shoot as well, it looked like we finally wore them down with our defensive pressure.”
Laurence (14 points) accounted for seven of the Bulldogs’ last nine points as they constructed a 14-point lead before a Florence basket as the buzzer went off to end a five minute lapse in scoring.
A key to the game was the fact the Dawgs made more free throws than Florence.
Thorndale was only 13-for-23 from the line, but the Buffaloes were 2-of-8.
“Any time our team can make more than they shoot we win those games,” Franklin said. “All in all, it was a good start to district but there are 13 more district games to go.”
Following the annual Thorndale Shootout Dec. 27-29, the Bulldogs resume district play on the road against Cameron.
The Bulldogs fell 63-56 to the Hornets on the road Friday night in a see-saw battle.
Thorndale trailed 31-25 at halftime and closed to within 43-42 after three periods, but could get no closer.
Laurence paced the Bulldogs with 14 points, followed by Schaefer’s 13 and Irwin’s 11.
“We got up big on Holland in the first quarter,” said Franklin. “I think within the first four minutes of the game it was eight to nothing. The problem was we did absolutely nothing the next 12 minutes of the first half. That dug ourselves a hole.”