WESTBROOK – Zack Bean scored 13 points as Westbrook downed Thornton Academy 67-46 in an SMAA boys’ basketball game Tuesday night.
Bean was front-and-center in a second-half surge as the fourth-ranked Blue Blazes outscored the Trojans 36-17 to improve to 11-3.
“Early in the year we really kind of came out slow after halftime,” Bean said. “We talked about that as a team and said that we couldn’t do that anymore.
“We need to come out as strong in the second half as we do at the beginning of games.”
Westbrook led 31-29 at halftime, but Evan Wright scored the first four points of the third quarter to give the Trojans a 33-31 lead.
David Breunig tied the game for Westbrook with a basket and Bean followed with a 3-pointer to begin an offensive onslaught.
The Blue Blazes outscored Thornton Academy 20-5 to close out the quarter with a commanding 51-38 lead.
“The kids really came out in the third quarter and did what we asked them to do,” said Westbrook Coach Mark Karter.
“I thought we were a little quick with our shots in the first half and in the second half we got the shots we wanted to get.
“I thought Aquai Alexander and Zack Bean hit some 3s that stretched it out for us a little bit.”
Bean and Alexander took turns in hitting four straight 3-pointers.
Wright had all nine of Thornton’s third-quarter points.
“Towards the end of the third quarter and into the fourth they opened it up,” said Thornton Academy Coach Bob Davis.
“When they got a little separation we panicked a little bit. That’s what you learn from.”
The Blue Blazes continued to pour it on in the fourth, enjoying an early 12-0 run to move ahead 63-41.
The loss ended Thornton Academy’s seven-game winning streak.
The seventh-ranked Trojans (9-6) had won six of the games in the streak by 11 points or better.
The second half was a reverse of the opening 16 minutes that featured three ties and four lead changes.
Westbrook grabbed a 7-2 lead three minutes into the game.
Jeff Gelinas, who scored all of high game-high 16 points in the first half, shifted the momentum back for the Trojans.
Gelinas, a senior forward, scored nine points in a 14-6 run to end the first quarter and give the Trojans an 18-15 lead.
Westbrook used a 12-3 run in the second quarter to move into a 31-25 lead.
Gelinas scored the final four points of the period to leave the Blue Blazes ahead by two at the half, 31-29.
“Gelinas really hurt us in the first half,” said Karter. “We made an effort to make sure that we guard him a little more closely in the second half.”
Breunig finished with 15 points to lead the Blue Blazes.