Brittany Thornton often plays several roles during Joppatowne games. She can be a point guard and also take big shots on offense while working as one of the leading rebounders at both ends of the floor.
Thornton showed all her talents in Tuesday night's Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference game against No. 13 Aberdeen. She made several key plays in the fourth quarter and finished with 17 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and four steals to help host Joppatowne hand the previously unbeaten Eagles a 62-55 defeat.
In a game in which Zameira Jones (team-high 19 points) reached the 1,000-point plateau, Thornton carried Joppatowne (10-2, 2-1). She scored eight points in the fourth quarter - the biggest coming when the senior made a 3-pointer that gave the Mariners a 57-49 lead with 2:44 left.
"She's our brains on the court," Joppatowne coach Mike Harris said. "That's the best game she's played this year."
The Mariners needed Thornton in the turnover-heavy contest as they couldn't find a rhythm in the first half. Joppatowne gave the ball away 20 times as Aberdeen (9-1, 2-1) took a 27-26 halftime lead.
But Joppatowne settled down at times in the second half. The Mariners had 11 more turnovers, but just one in the third quarter, when they took control.
Jones played a big role during that stretch. She scored eight points in the period, driving to the basket through traffic several times. The junior got two baskets and an assist as Joppatowne broke a tie and scored eight of the final 11 points for a 42-37 lead.
"They're our rivals," Thornton said. "We had to go out and play aggressive and be confident."
Aberdeen cut the lead to 47-46 on a 3-pointer from Ayana Stewart (13 points) in the fourth quarter, but the Eagles never took the lead.
"My team's young, and I think they played timid at times," Aberdeen coach Stacy Liles said.
A-Taylor 13, Stewart 13, Alleyne 6, Hayden 2, Jones 16, McCluskey 5. Totals: 18 15-23 55.
J-Patton-Hill 9, Z. Jones 19, Head 11, Whyte 2, Lewis-Orr 2, Thornton 17, Scott 2. Totals: 24 11-19 62.
Half: A, 27-26.