SACO — Quinn Richardson-Newton scored 15 points and Reuben Moses had all but two of his 14 points from 3-point range to lead seventh-seeded Thornton Academy to a 50-37 victory against 10th-ranked Windham in a Western Class A boys’ basketball prelim Tuesday night.
The Golden Trojans (12-7), winners of 10 of their last 12 games, will play No. 2 Deering (15-3) in the quarterfinals at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Portland Expo.
Thornton took a 15-4 lead by hitting five straight shots, two of them 3-pointers. The Trojans finished with seven 3-pointers.
Windham (7-12) cut it to 20-14 late in the second period, but Moses hit a 3-pointer to give Thornton a nine-point halftime lead, then opened the third quarter with another 3-pointer, the start of an 11-4 spurt.
The Trojans used good ball movement to get open. Windham went cold after a brief rally late in the first quarter
“We were moving the ball well,” said Richardson-Newton. “We got open looks by going inside and then bouncing it outside. Making those shots is what got us going.”
Defensively, Thornton’s matchup zone and man-to-man defense made it a tough shooting night for Windham.
“We communicated well on defense and had good movement,” said Richardson-Newton. “A few times we didn’t move and Windham got easy layups.”
After starting 1-4, Thornton went on a seven-game winning streak. One win was against Windham, 53-42 on Jan. 12 at Saco.
“We just started to compete,” said Richardson-Newton about the turnaround. “Coach got on us a little bit and we came together as a team.”
The Eagles led 3-0 and 4-3. Thornton’s first two baskets were 3-pointers. Moses 3-pointer gave the Golden Trojans a 6-4 lead, starting a 12-0 run.
“We were open and fortunately the shots went down,” said Coach Bob Davies. “We’ve had some good games from 3-point range this season and some bad games. Richardson-Newton and Moses were the guys tonight. We’ve distributed the ball during the season and a lot of guys have scored. We made the extra pass to get open.”
As important as their shooting, the Trojans’ defense held the Eagles to single-digit scoring in each of the first three quarters.
“Our team defense was pretty good,” said Davies.
Thornton and Deering have been familiar opponents in the quarterfinals; this will be the fourth time in the last seven seasons they have met. Thornton has won two of the three previous meetings.
“Deering is a very talented team,” said Davies. “They proved it early.”
Davies was referring to the opening game of the season when Deering, the defending Class A state champion, throttled the Trojans 77-28 at Deering High.
“Hopefully we’ve improved enough to give them a game,” said Davies.
Dylan Weisser led the Eagles with 12 points.
Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: [email protected]