For the last several seasons, McNamara senior guard Marcus Thornton has been the team’s do-everything-combo guard. The 6-foot, 3-inch, 170-pound Thornton does it all, from handling the point guard duties to pouring in buckets as an explosive shooting guard. The William & Mary recruit was at it again on Jan. 21, exploding for 34 points to help his fifth-ranked (Washington Post) squad take down Arlington, Va.’s No. 11 O’Connell Knights, 75-61.

McNamara (17-3) jumped out to a 13-0 lead and never looked back, as they cruised to their eighth Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) win of the season. O’Connell (13-4) never threatened the visiting team, despite numerous tactics to cool Thornton’s hot hand.

Flashing his trademark crossover dribble and silky jump shot, Thornton was a one-man wrecking crew for McNamara, who managed to place two other players in double figures. After getting off to a slow start in their Jan. 7 64-53 defeat to then-top-ranked DeMatha, McNamara has come out of the gate fast in every game since that loss compiling a 5-1 record.

“Come out harder from the jump and box out,” Thornton said of his team’s new approach to the early moments of games. The new mindset now has McNamara atop the WCAC with DeMatha, now third-ranked, and O’Connell ranked second. No. 6 overall Gonzaga is currently fourth in the division.

McNamara returns to action with a WCAC game against St. Mary’s Ryken of Leonardtown, Md. on Jan. 25 while O’Connell looks to rebound in their WCAC matchup with St. Johns on Jan. 25.

Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO