BIDDEFORD — You would be hard pressed to find a Thornton Academy player, coach or fan who was not shocked that the Trojans trailed Biddeford by 13 points at the half on Monday night.

The Golden Trojans could rest easy eight minutes – and 32 points – later.

Thornton Academy outscored Biddeford 32-2 in the third quarter on its way to a 61-50 win.

The Trojans (3-0) forced nine of the Tigers’ 20 turnovers in the third quarter.

Biddeford (1-2) did not score in the third until DeSean Cromwell hit a hook shot in the lane with 46 seconds left.

By that time, the Trojans had turned that 13-point deficit into a 53-36 lead.

“(Biddeford) outplayed us in first half. They out-executed us and they wanted it more than us,” Thornton Academy Coach Bob Davies said. “We didn’t play good team defense. That’s what needed to change.

“The kids came out and played better defense and that allowed us to rebound (and create turnovers).”

Three minutes into the third quarter, the Trojans turned a 34-21 deficit into a 36-34 lead, their first of the game.

Evan Christensen helped fuel the run with a pair of steals, the second leading to a end-to-end layup to give the Trojans the lead.

Christensen, a transfer from Old Orchard Beach who finished with 12 points, agreed with his coach about the reason Thornton Academy trailed at halftime.

“We played defense and played with a lot more energy (in the third quarter),” he said. “We came out flat to start (the game). That was the problem.”

Biddeford called its second timeout of the third quarter following Christensen’s layup, but the Tigers couldn’t slow Thorton Academy’s momentum.

Plus, shots that were falling in the first half were not in the second.

A fast-break layup by Christensen and a put-back by David Keohan, who finished with a game-high 20 points, pushed the Trojans’ lead to 40-34.

Thornton Academy continued to build its lead on a pair of 3-pointers by Austin Boudreau, who scored all of his 14 points in the second half, and a layup by Keohan. All three of those baskets came after a turnover.

“They are one of the best teams in the state and they showed that in the third quarter,” Biddeford Coach Justin Tardif said. “They picked up the defensive intensity, got a couple easy transition baskets that got them going and that was all.”

The Tigers went on an 8-2 run to start the fourth quarter to get within 11 with 5:40 left, but Austin Robinson made a jumper and Boudreau scored on a drive to push the Trojans’ lead back to 15 with 3:35 left.

Kyle Norton led Biddeford with 14 points, including four 3-pointers.

Patrick Pearl chipped in 13 and Austin Dutremble had 11.

Tardif, whose team finished 1-17 last year, opted to focus on the positives.

“We can be negative and look at the third quarter or we can be positive and look at first, second and fourth quarters,” he said. “We are going to be positive.

“We’ve struggled the last three years in terms of wins. I think (our team) showed the progress they’ve made and we are a legitimately good team that can win basketball games and make the playoffs in Class A South.”

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