Friday night action: Hillcrest beats Richards by 10, T. F. North knocks off Thornwood...
A lifetime of backyard basketball helped T. F. North forward Landon Cox prepare for his assignment Friday against Thornwood.
“Me, [Thornwood senior] Cameron [Snelling] and Landon all grew up together, playing in the backyard and stuff,” Thornwood star Trey Blue said.
Cox, who also plays wide receiver for the Meteors and signed with Northern Illinois this week, spent the game guarding Blue.
“I knew what I was getting into,” Cox said. “He’s my cousin through marriage. He’s a terrific player but I know his game real well.”
Cox was the difference in the game on both the offensive and defensive end as the No. 3 Meteors knocked off No. 2 Thornwood 55-41 in Calumet City.
The 6-4 senior scored 13 points for the Meteors (19-2, 9-0 SICA East), who closed the game with a 13-3 run.
“We weren’t counting on Cox playing like that,” Thornwood coach Bob Curran said. “We thought if we could hold [Lawrence] Redmond and [Demond] Watt to 11 or 13 points we’d be ok. We did that, but Cox beat us.”
Reggie Hamilton led Thornwood (17-3, 8-1)with 14 points and four rebounds. Blue finished with nine points and seven rebounds and Cameron Snelling added six point and seven rebounds.
A layup from junior Marcus Deloney with 1:56 to play in the third quarter gave the Meteors their first lead of the second half. On the next possession, Thornwood’s Colby Johnson hurt his left ankle shooting a three and did not return. T. F. North never relinquished the lead again.
“I have so much respect for [Bob Curran],” T. F. North coach Tim Bankston said. “I love their style when I’m watching it but I hate it when I’m playing it.”
Redmond scored 13 for the Meteors and Watt added nine points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots.
“They are a lot more athletic than we are at every position,” Curran said. “In the second half they asserted that and really made us adjust a lot of our shots.”
This could just be round one of a three game series between the teams over the next few weeks. They may meet again in the SICA tournament and could face each other in the sectional semifinals.
“We’ve never worried about the conference,” Curran said. “We haven’t won the conference since I’ve been here. You never want to look past anyone though. We have a very tough regional.”