Warriors hold off Eagles

Published 2:04 pm Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Thompson head coach Jeff Nichols questioned his team’s intensity.

Holding a five-point point lead at the start of the fourth quarter Friday night, the Warriors looked poised to down region foe Oak Mountain for the second time this season.

The Eagles had other ideas, however, cutting the score to three points midway through the quarter, and that’s when Nichols challenged his team during a timeout.

“I felt like we did, just for three or four minutes, lose our intensity offensively and defensively,” Nichols said.

The Eagles took advantage with their inside size and the transition game to cut the Warrior lead, but Thompson was able to answer Nichols’ challenge, downing Oak Mountain 61-54.

“We’re not very big. We’ve got to have all five doing their job all the time defensively or we’re in trouble,” Nichols said. “Our effort was much better than the last two games that we played and we knew it would take a huge effort to get a win.”

The game started out back-and-forth, but the Warriors opened up an eight-point lead at the half and held off the late Oak Mountain.

“I thought our effort was good,” Oak Mountain head coach Reggie Mantooth said. “They kind of took us out of what we wanted to do.”

What the Eagles wanted to do was get the ball to it’s leading scorer, Ronnie Mack. Mack, who was limited due to an illness, was held to just 10 points.

The Eagles had two other players in double digits, with Cary Baxter finishing with a game-high 19 points and Mark Caldwell finishing with 11 points.

“Mark, I thought, played really hard and Carey hit some big shots for us down the stretch which, both of them have done that throughout the year, but it was even more so tonight,” Mantooth said.

For Thompson, Jordan Chism had a team-high 13 points, including four rebounds.

Josh Neville also scored in double-digits with 10 points, followed by Siddeeq Cooper with four assists and four steals.

Hakeem Mitchell and Marcus Edwards finished with seven points apiece.