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T.F. North conquers drought-ridden Lockport

12/13/2012, 10:15pm CST
By Dick Goss dgoss@stmedianetwork.com

On a night of long scoring droughts, T.F. North outlasted Lockport 35-27 in the Plainfield North Holiday Tournament. A 13-0 run midway through the first half set the tone for the night.

Lockport's Derrick Lockhart's (1) drives to the basket around Thornton Fractional North's Deland Deere (2) at the Plainfield North Holiday Basketball Tournament held at Plainfield,IL. and Lockport lost 35-27 on Thursday, December,13 2012. | Larry Kane~For

The summer drought had nothing on what transpired Thursday night in the Plainfield North Holiday Tournament.

With both sides experiencing long stretches without scoring, T.F. North went on a 13-0 run midway through the first half and never looked back, beating Lockport 35-27.

It’s not that the Porters (3-6, 0-2 in the tournament) did not stay relatively close thanks to a good effort on the defensive end. The Meteors (7-1, 2-0 in the tourney) used pressure defense to get the lead and overcome a subpar shooting night.

“We knew we had to keep the game under control,” T.F. North senior forward Nicholas Wood said. “It’s a long week ahead and we had to save our energy.”

“Beating Benet (39-34 Wednesday) was an emotional high,” T.F. North coach Tim Bankston said. “They say when you get a win like that, you have an emotional letdown the next game. We did not play well and did not make shots (12-of-33, 36.4 percent). I’m sure we will play much better (at 6:45 p.m. Friday against Plainfield North).”

Lockport, operating against full-court, man-to-man pressure, had taken 16 shots and attempted four free throws while committing 19 turnovers through three quarters. The Porters suffered droughts of 9 minutes, 15 seconds during North’s 13-0 run that turned a 7-0 deficit into a 13-7 lead, 6:11 during a 6-0 Meteors run and 4:43 during another 6-0 North run.

North went 4:56 before scoring its first points and managed two points in the final 5:12 of the first half, which ended with the Meteors leading 15-12.

“Pressure is all relative,” said Lockport coach Lawrence Thompson Jr., whose team battles Benet at 5:15 Friday. “When teams apply pressure like that, the team being pressured has to develop team ballhandlers. We got caught up in it instead of staying with our identity.

“A lot of credit goes to them. They pressured the ball and were patient on the offensive end. I didn’t think we could guard them man-to-man, so we zoned them. Luckily they had an off night from the perimeter and we were able to stay in it.”

A difference maker was 6-foot-8 senior center Marquis Todd, who came off the Meteors’ bench and finished with 12 points and six rebounds.

“Marquis played awfully well,” Bankston said. “I wish he would do that more often.”

Junior reserve guard Derrick Lockhart scored 13 points for Lockport and junior forward John Campbell added nine.

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