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Lincoln-Way North's Daryle Morgan (3) dribbles around Thorton's Justin Taylor (33). | Allen Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Lincoln-Way North coach John Terry constantly stresses to his players to play as a team and not be concerned about individual statistics.
The Phoenix put Terry’s words into action Friday night against Thornton.
Three North players reached double figures in scoring, led by Daryle Morgan’s 23 points, as the Phoenix downed Thornton 66-51 in a SouthWest Suburban Red contest in Frankfort.
The win upped North’s mark to 12-7, 4-2.
“We keep telling the kids how important it is to play as a team,” Terry said. “Pick each other up. Don’t care about the numbers (statistics). (Friday), we played as a team.”
Joining Morgan in the double-digit scoring column were Tre Lewis with 14 points and Cody Murphy with 12. Ryan Pellack added eight points to the cause.
“When we play together, this is what we’re capable of,” said Morgan, who converted 9-of-12 field goals. “We stuck together.”
There were moments when North could have unraveled.
One came when it allowed a 34-19 lead shrink to 34-31 early in the third period, and another when a 45-35 advantage was whittled to 47-45 with 5:32 remaining in the game.
Each time, however, the Phoenix had an answer for a Thornton run.
“They had a couple of runs and we didn’t fold,” Terry said. “We kept fighting and matched their runs.”
Thornton had a chance to take a lead when it trailed 47-45, but a three-point try by D’Andre Fuller was off the mark.
North countered with a 13-0 run, highlighted by a pair of hoops by Murphy, a trey by Pellack and steal and layup by Lewis.
Morgan hopes this game signals a trend.
“I feel like we’re starting to peak,” he said. “We’re getting better and better.”
North converted 27-of-47 field goals, while Thornton (8-8, 3-2), led by Justin Taylor (17 points) and Brian Nicholson (14), canned just 22-of-56 attempts.