Thomas Scores 28 in 1st Round Win

<b>FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.</b> – Adrian Thomas, a Miami signee, scored 28 points for Flanagan in a victory over Douglas, 68-52 in the first round of the BCAA BIG 8 Tournament featuring the eight best teams in Broward County.

Adrian Thomas came into the game as the leading scorer in Broward County averaging 23.9 points per game.

Thomas played all 32 minutes and shot 11-for-21 from the floor including 3-for-7 from behind the three-point line and 3-for-5 at the free-throw line. He also added nine rebounds, three assists, and two steals.

"I felt pretty relaxed tonight," Thomas said. "I hit some good shots. I am a little tired, but I felt all right."

Relaxed? You could say that--his long yawn just before the opening tip showed how relaxed he was.

At the end of the first quarter Flanagan led 14-7 while limiting the number of open looks for Douglas. Flanagan stuck with their zone defense the entire game with Thomas down on the low blocks.

At halftime Thomas had 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting, but did not seem aggressive on the offensive end of the court. He took his shots when they were open and he hit enough to give the Falcons a comfortable 26-18 lead at the break.

"I told the guys at halftime to play under control and when we are up we don't have to force anything," Flanagan head coach Greg Samuel said. "We have a good offense and we just have to run it."

Both teams came out ready to play after the break with Douglas eclipsing their total of 18 points in the first two quarters with a 22-point third quarter. Thomas started to get into a better offensive rhythm and hit key shots as they held onto their lead.

The fourth quarter belonged to Adrian. He came out and hit his first three shots before anyone else on the court made a shot. His 8-0 run stretched the Flanagan lead to 55-40 and the lead would remain double digits the rest of the game.

"Adrian shot the ball well in the fourth quarter and got some shots to drop," Samuel said.

"I hit one then I hit another," Thomas said of scoring his team's first 11 points of the fourth quarter. "I just started feeling really good and wanted to keep shooting."

Thomas who is listed at 6-foot-7 is closer to the 6-4 range is working on his outside game. He tends to want to float to the outside to shoot a three-point shot as opposed to waiting for the game to come to him. Tonight he hit some of his outside shots to keep the Douglas defense honest.

Jon Kreft is a junior center listed at 6-foot-11 for Douglas and has already committed to Florida State. Kreft is averaging 15 points per game this season and was a tough challenge for Thomas when Adrian tried to score in the paint.

"Kreft is going to be good," Thomas said. "He is real strong and he just needs to work on his footwork more. He is only a junior so he will be fine next year."

Flanagan played only seven guys tonight—two seniors—and one of the players played only the last three seconds of the game. Adrian's cast of teammates accounted for 40 points.

"Tonight Adrian played well and when he plays well we play well because everyone focuses on him, which allows some open looks for the other guys," Samuel said. "He had a good cast tonight."

With the victory Flanagan improves to 17-6 on the season and have won two games in a row after losing two straight. Thomas struggled in the loss to McArthur as he only scored six points in the game.

"Somehow Adrian went into a little slump," Samuel said. "Getting back to a winning streak was just a matter of getting him getting back to his game. At this point of the season it is important for us to win to get ready for districts next week regardless of what happens tomorrow."

Flanagan's resumes tournament play tonight in a semi-final match up against Boyd Anderson at 6:30 pm. The winner will play in the championship game on Saturday at 7:30 pm.

Boyd Anderson is the top ranked team in 6A with a 21-2 record and is led by Ryan Reid, a 6-foot-8 Florida State signee.


"They are having a good season and surprising a lot of people," Thomas said.

Thomas has a good relationship with first-year Miami head coach Frank Haith. Haith is impressed with Thomas's leaping ability and is looking forward to getting him in Coral Gables for the 2005-06 season.

"I talk to coach Haith about once a week and we talk about everything," Thomas said. "He just tells me that he can't wait until I get there."

Thomas has been attending a number of Miami's home games and is looking forward to the next home game on Tuesday against Wake Forest.

"If we don't have a game then I will be there."

1st	4	2-4	0-1 	0-0 
2nd	6	2-3	1-2	1-2
3rd	7	3-7	0-2	1-1
4th	11	4-7	2-2	1-2
Final	28	11-21	3-7	3-5
Team		1st	2nd	3rd	4th	Final
Flanagan	14	12	21	21	68	
Douglas	         7	11	22	12	52
Christopher Stock is a Staff Writer for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at

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