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Laquon Treadwell slams home two for the Crete-Monee Wednesday in first-round play against Thornton at the McDipper Tournament at Rich South High School. Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media

Crete-Monee’s Laquon Treadwell is used to starting ballgames.

Missing a Christmas Eve practice because he was sick, Treadwell found himself on the bench to start Wednesday’s McDipper opener against rival Thornton at Rich South.

First or second quarter, the senior star isn’t picky. He’s trying to get into a rhythm the second he steps onto the court.

Pouring in 14 points in the second quarter alone on the way to 25 overall, Treadwell’s instant offense sparked Crete-Monee to a convincing 73-56 win.

“It’s a little different because starting you get into that rhythm early,” Treadwell said. “Off the bench, you just have to come with intensity. That’s easy to me. I pick up the flow quickly.”

The senior forward finished with 25 points on 10-of-10 shooting from the field with 15 rebounds. Mark Conner (17 points) and Brandon Johnson (12 points, 9 rebounds) chipped in for Crete-Monee (10-1).

The Warriors will play King, 67-62 winners over Bolingbrook, Thursday at 4 p.m. in the quarterfinals.

Sitting the entire first quarter, Treadwell exploded off the bench in the second.

His six points, including an acrobatic, double-clutch layup, sparked a 10-0 zip run that helped the Warriors build a 12-point lead and eventually claim a 35-26 halftime advantage.

“With Mark and Marvie (Keith), defenses have to worry about them,” Treadwell said. “With that, it can be easy to find gaps.”

Holding an eight-point advantage to open the fourth, Crete-Monee was dominant in the frame with Treadwell, Keith and Conner leading the way.

Pressing Thornton and attacking the basket with abandon, there was no stopping the Warriors as the close game was blown open. Conner and Treadwell closed the game in style, both seniors throwing down vicious dunks in the final minute.

“Laquon really came on,” Crete coach Tom Cappel said. “When we come to fight, we’re pretty good.”

Brian Nicholson (14 points), Justin Taylor (12 points) and Justin Montgomery (10 points) led Thornton (3-6).

“We weren’t rebounding, and they got a lot of easy shots,” Thornton coach Troy Jackson. “We couldn’t make up that deficit. We got close, but my team is young, and I like this team.”

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