2017-01-31 / Sports

TA plays inaugural unified basketball game

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By ALEX SPONSELLER
Associate Sports Editor

SACO — Thornton Academy recently welcomed it’s first-ever unified basketball team for the 2017 winter season.

This is the third season that unified basketball has been played by high schoolers in Maine, and TA has been excited to begin its own program.

The Trojans played their inaugural game Monday evening, hosting visiting Westbrook. The Blue Blazes played sound basketball on both ends of the floor and powered to a 63-38 triumph.

Despite the loss, the TA community was thrilled to introduce its newest team to the Trojan athletic department. 

“It’s very exciting. We had a big crowd come out to cheer everyone on, we had a mascot ... I think both teams really felt the positive energy here, it’s an amazing experience,” said TA coach Kristy Kendrick.

The Trojans fought hard throughout the 40-minute affair, and had solid performances across the floor on both offense and defense. TA had seven different scorers, including Collen Lambert who scored a game-high 24 points and collected a rebound.

Adam Boudreau also shined for TA, chipping in four points, while Jordan Shackelford, Nick Cataldo, Derek Madore and Wyatt LeBlanc also added scores.

Kendrick was pleased with her club’s effort in the loss, and believes that the Trojans have plenty to build on moving forward in the season.

“I think the team did well. We’re new and it’s still early in the year, but we have some things to build upon. We’re looking forward to it and we’re excited,” said Kendrick.

The TA player-partners have also made a big impact on the team, helping guide the athletes on and off the court. The Trojans have gelled nicely so far this year, and Kendrick was happy to see the teamwork her team demonstrated in Monday’s loss.

“The chemistry is starting there, it was also nice to see (Westbrook’s) partners help us out and guide us since it’s our firs year with the program,” said Kendrick. “This is their second year so it was really nice to see that camaraderie between both teams.”

TA will hit the road this Wednesday when it travels to face Portland/Deering. The Trojans hope to continue to improve their skills, while also have fun competing on the floor.

“We’re just going to go out there and have some fun,” said Kendrick, “shoot some hoops and see what the season brings.”

— Associate Sports Editor Alex Sponseller can be reached at asponseller@journaltribune.com or at 282-1535 ext. 323. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.

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