SACO — Thornton Academy’s boys’ basketball team can certainly keep the scoreboard clicking, with Jack Pyzynski popping 3-pointers, Dylan Griffin muscling inside and Payton Jones flying up and down the court.

But sometimes the ball doesn’t go in, like on Friday night, when Thornton scored only seven points in the first quarter.

Then again, the Golden Trojans still led 7-3, because as good as the offense can be, the defense is stifling.

Thornton continued its rock-solid season with a 69-49 win over Scarborough at Linnell Gymnasium

Thornton (12-2) won its fourth straight, remaining securely in second place in Class AA South, behind undefeated South Portland. The Red Storm dropped to 7-7.

Pyzynski and Jones, the Trojans’ two 6-foot-1 guards, each scored 15 points, and the 6-6 Griffin added 13. Flashy 5-9 guard Anthony Jones came off the bench to score 10 points.

Brian Austin led Scarborough with 10.

Pyzynski hit one of his three 3-pointers in the first quarter, but the Trojans shot only 25 percent.

“We came out a little flat,” Pyzynski said.

But the Trojans held Scarborough to one basket – a 3-pointer from Adam Lewis. The Red Storm were 1 for 11 in the quarter.

“We were trying to be patient on offense,” Scarborough Coach Phil Conley said. “Their defense is a very physical defense.”

The Trojans play defense up close and personal. And when an opponent has the ball, he can expect a second defender to get quickly in his face.

“We have a great help-side (defense),” 6-foot guard Kobe Gaudette said. “We like to jump the ball and pressure teams – mostly man-to-man, and trapping.”

To start the second quarter, Colby Lands, a 6-2 forward who plays taller than that, scored a putback. Griffin added four points and Gaudette swished a 3-pointer.

The Trojans were just getting warmed up.

“We play fast as a team,” Gaudette said. “It’s nice to get steals and run up the floor. That’s a lot of our offense – from our defense.”

And not just from steals. When Thornton grabbed a defensive rebound, players were sprinting up the court.

The fast-break layups started to come, including a nifty one from Cody Ruff, who made a steal at midcourt and bulled his way through traffic.

“When we run, that’s when we play our best,” Pyzynski said.

The Red Storm trailed 30-17 at halftime.

“That’s where they won the game,” Conley said of the second quarter. “We got beat too much in transition. We need to do a better job of getting back.”

Conley saw a few positives. Joe Estrella, a 6-6 freshman forward, came off the bench and played strong inside. He also hit a 3-pointer and scored eight points.

“He’s a really good basketball player who works on his game,” Conley said.

But Thornton’s defense never let Scarborough make a run.

“Great group of kids,” Trojans Coach Bob Davies said. “They’re learning and coming along as a team. It’s pretty cool.”

Comments are not available on this story.