County champions – Lowery, Thompson make most of second chances

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Nicole Lowery just wanted another shot – to beat Oak Mountain, to win the Shelby County basketball tournament.

She got her chance last Thursday night, and made the most of it as the Warriors defeated Oak Mountain, 45-22, in the tournament final at Chelsea High School.

Thompson (10-5) had lost to the Eagles in all three meetings between the schools last season, including a matchup in the finals of the Shelby County tournament, held last year at Thompson’s home court.

&uot;We stepped it up this year and we came out big this time,&uot; said Lowery.

The senior led THS with 16 points, four assists and two steals and was named tournament MVP.

&uot;I didn’t expect it,&uot; Lowery said of the honor. &uot;I thought Tamara (Williams) was going to get it, actually. But it feels good. It makes me feel like I stepped up this tournament, so I’m real proud.&uot;

Williams scored 12 points and blocked three shots for Thompson, who jumped out to a 30-15 halftime lead.

&uot;We came together good as a team,&uot; Williams said. &uot;We picked it up on defense this tournament and I think that’s what carried us through.&uot;

Rhonda Watts scored eight points in the championship game and joined teammates Williams and Lowery on the all-tournament team.

Thompson coach Cara Crosslin claimed her fourth tournament title in her seven

years as head coach.

&uot;We hadn’t been playing our best until tonight,&uot; Crosslin said. &uot;We came back tonight and did the little things. The first five that I put out on the floor, I just had confidence in them and they had confidence in each other.&uot;

Tera Moore led Oak Mountain (9-6) with eight points and eight rebounds