Sprinting out of the gates Sunday, Brooks raced to an 11-0 lead over Thornridge in the first quarter.
An early knockout blow? Not quite, the Eagles followed up their early run with a 10-minute stretch without a basket over the first, second and third quarters.
Oh, for a happy medium somewhere in between.
“Once they start falling, they fall for everyone,” Brooks coach Donald Nichols said with a smile. “Once there’s a lid on the basket, there’s a lid and no can score. The guys fought through it and played much better.”
With their shots not dropping Sunday at the Thornton Shootout, the Eagles committed to driving hard to the lane, riding their free-throw shooting and a big third-quarter effort to a 58-46 win over Thornridge.
Brooks (3-5) finished 23-for-30 from the charity stripe, Clifton Lloyd connecting on 10 of 12 on his way to a 22-point performance. His backcourt partner Darien Walker finished with 18 points.
Lloyd and Walker are the starting defensive backs for Brooks football team, transitioning into the backcourt for the Eagles.
As go the guards, so goes Brooks.
“They’re two peas in a pod,” Nichols said. “They’re going to be the engine and the brains that make our team go. As they get into rhythm, I’ve been telling everybody, ‘Get us now because we’ll be something different later in the season.”
The team having shot just 6-for-23 from the floor in the first half, the Eagles made a simple switch-up in the second half, drive hard whenever possible.
“The refs were calling fouls both ways so we came out aggressive,” Walker said. “We got to the line early.”
The Eagles made 10 of 14 free throws in the frame, the charity stripe working translating to the jump shot. Walker hit two big three-pointers in the third as Brooks went up 40-30 heading to the fourth.
“Our defense really got us going, helped us take that lead, and we never looked back,” Lloyd said. “We just wanted to play hard.”
Thornridge (1-8) committed 20 turnovers overall Sunday, including five in the third quarter in addition to a 4-for-11 shooting performance. The Falcons were led by Leeshaun Evans’ 10 points.