The befuddled look on Bloom coach Ron Ashlaw’s face said it all after what he had to witness Tuesday night against visiting Thornwood.
A game that started so promising turned into a nightmare and it was produced by the two players keeping the Blazing Trojans in the lead.
Seniors’ DaVontae Henry and Mickhiell Harris were doing it all offensively but their night came to a tumultuous end early in the fourth quarter, ultimately sparking a 50-43 comeback win by the Thunderbirds (4-2)
Henry and Harris started a heated argument on the court following a 5-second call on Henry with 5:26 left in the fourth quarter and their team up 37-36.
“I haven’t had that happen to me in 25 years,” Ashlaw said.
The two were separated when they came back to the bench but had to be pulled apart again as they continued the jawing. Neither player was ejected by the referees but a coaching staff decision removed them both from the game and gymnasium the rest of the way.
“We got that 5-second call on (Henry) and unfortunately him and his teammate got into it,” Thornwood coach Paul Slavich said. “I’m not going to say anything more about it. I’ll just worry about us.”
Henry had 13 points and Harris had 11, both team highs. From there, the T-Birds went on an 8-2 run for a 44-39 lead they would never relinquish. Chelby Frazier (15 points) and Kaliph Fagan (13 points, eight rebounds) led the comeback.
“We played defense and jumped them and they played out of control,” Fagan said. “We came out in the second half as a team and played our game.”
The Trojans (3-3) built a 26-13 halftime lead behind 11 points by Henry and six each by Harris and Jamal Parks. That lead dwindled to 37-34 by the end of the third quarter after an 11-3 run by the T-birds to start the quarter. Frazier had eight points in the third and Fagan added seven, all free throws, in the fourth. The T-birds had one field goal in the fourth but were 13-for-20 from the line.
“It’s impossible to answer what we are going to do from here, all I know is we have practice tomorrow,” Ashlaw said. “I don’t think we’ve lost our team. This is a great group of kids.
“Whatever that moment was will be addressed and handled and we will push forward.”