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Crete-Monee’s Laquon Treadwell picked a good time to get in the head of Thornwood leading scorer Donte Thomas.
With 5:15 left in the fourth quarter of a four-point game, Treadwell didn’t like a hard foul by Thomas and got up and went chest-to-chest with the 6-6 junior. The referee jumped in immediately, Treadwell backed off, but Thomas didn’t, shoving Crete’s Mark Conner.
A double-technical was called on Thomas which meant an automatic ejection. Meanwhile, Treadwell, who was also called for a technical, stayed in the game and helped his team finish off a 45-39 nonconference win.
“He threw me down on the hard foul and I hopped up and we both reacted,” said Treadwell, who scored five of his 13 points after the incident. “We both got technicals, but he went after another player.
“He had a good game though, that’s their best player and he was making plays.”
Thomas left the game with 21 points and 12 rebounds, and his team trailing 33-29. From that point the Warriors (13-3) held at least a two-point lead behind 7-for-10 shooting from the free-throw line.
Conner finished with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Marquette Muhammed had four steals. The Warriors were without starting guard Marvie Keith, who was injured in the recent McDipper Tournament. Rashad Lee, a 6-5 junior, also didn’t play after missing practice due to illness.
“I was disappointed in how my guy reacted,” Thornwood coach Paul Slavich said. “We teach the kids not to react like that. We’ve talked to all the guys about not putting personal things above the team.”
The Warriors broke a 7-7 first-quarter tie with an 8-0 run. The Thunderbirds (7-8) pulled within two points four times in the third quarter and once in the fourth at 34-32, but could get no closer.
The ejection means Thomas will have to sit out Friday’s home game against Stagg.
“I’m only here to coach the team, not comment on referees,” Crete-Monee coach Tom Cappel said. “But I thought it could have been handled differently. Now the poor kid has to sit out the next game.”