When Thornwood had its bigger lineup in against Lincoln-Way West on Friday, things went pretty well.
Coach Paul Slavich figured that out pretty quickly and used the No. 23 Thunderbirds’ height advantage to earn a 67-54 SouthWest Suburban Red victory against the visiting Warriors.
‘‘Foul trouble forced us to go a little smaller than we wanted to,’’ Slavich said. ‘‘[Lincoln-Way West] made their run when we had a smaller lineup, but they are a very good shooting team.’’
Chelby Frazier scored 21 points and Kaliph Fagan 14 to lead the Thunderbirds (13-5, 5-2). Rodrick Turner scored Thornwood’s first seven points of the third quarter, finishing with 15.
After Turner’s 7-4 run, the Thunderbirds led 54-44 with five minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Warriors came storming back to close within 56-54 after a layup by Craig Majcher with 1:29 remaining.
After a Thornwood timeout, the Thunderbirds went on a 9-0 run to secure the victory.
‘‘They put the pressure on us at the end and we had to keep our composure,” Frazier said. ‘‘Coach told us [during the fourth quarter timeout] to just calm down and stay focused.’’
Marco Pettinato scored 17 points, Anthony Marotta added 15 and Trace Howard finished with 10 for Lincoln-Way West (13-4, 5-2).
The Thunderbirds led 18-13 after the first quarter. They started the second with a smaller lineup and that produced better offensive opportunities for the Warriors. They took advantage going on a 12-2 to take a 25-20 lead.
Slavich countered Lincoln-Way West’s offensive spurt, substituting in 6-4 forwards Darrion Robinson and Fagan with 4:51 left in the second quarter. The move sparked an 11-0 run as the Thunderbirds led 36-31 at halftime.
Frazier had 12 points in the first half and Fagan added 11, including five after he re-entered the game. Pettinato had 12 for the Warriors at halftime.
‘‘We spotted them a big margin at the beginning and had to exhort all of that energy to get back in,’’ Lincoln-Way West coach Brian Flaherty said. ‘‘We were able to make a run at the end.’’