Jags continue fast start with area win over Thompson

Spain Park High School senior forward Matthew Bowerman said the Jaguars couldn’t afford to look past their Class 6A, Area 10 opener against Thompson.

The Jags, off to a great start, didn’t want to lose any momentum following their first loss of the season Nov. 28 to Vestavia Hills in the Rebels’ Sneaky Pete’s Rebel Classic, Bowerman said.

Spain Park got back on the winning track with a 52-49 home win over the Warriors.

“It’s a big win for us,” Bowerman said. “We wanted to set the tone for how we want to play in area games.”

Josh Drum led the Jaguars (6-1, 1-0 in Class 6A, Area 10) with 18 points. Bowerman added 13 points and Edgar Dominguez finished with nine points.

Kenny Johnson led Thompson (3-5, 0-1) with 15 points. Bernard Smith and Demarcus Threatt added nine points each. Josh Neville finished with seven points.

The two teams traded baskets in the first quarter, with the Jags leading 9-8 after the opening period.

Robby Prater and Jake Lee 3-point baskets, sandwiched with a layup and free throw by Drum, helped Spain Park extend its lead to 22-16 midway through the second quarter. A 3-pointer by Johnson late in the first half helped the Warriors cut the lead to 26-21 at halftime.

Consecutive baskets on offensive rebounds by Bowerman and Brian Stone helped the Jags gain their biggest lead of the night, 39-26, midway through the third quarter.

Thompson caught fire late in the third quarter and early in the fourth period. Johnson’s layup and free throw cut the Jags’ lead to 39-34 by the end of the third quarter.

Threatt capped the Thompson comeback with a layup and free throw to give the Warriors a 40-39 lead with 5:43 remaining in the game.

Bowerman responded with a personal 5-0 run with a 3-pointer from the wing and a layup to put Spain Park back in control, 46-42, with just under four minutes left in the game. Johnson tied the game at 48-all with two free throws with 1:30 remaining.

Drum hit two free throws and the Warriors were charged with goaltending on a layup attempt by Dominguez, which allowed Spain Park to take a 52-48 lead and put the game away.

Thompson coach Patrick Davis said the youthful Warriors’ growing pains were obvious in the fourth quarter.

“I can’t fault their effort,” Davis said. “It’s a matter of execution in crunch time. That comes with experience.”

Davis said he knew the Jags would be a difficult test for his inexperienced Thompson team.

“Spain Park is really good,” Davis said. “We knew coming in that they’re probably the best team in the area.”

Bowerman said the Jaguars are motivated to turn things around this year after a 12-20 record last season.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence right now,” Bowerman said. “We trust in our guys that we’re going to come to play every night.”

In other games Tuesday night:

Vincent 62, Shelby County 61

Vincent went on a 19-4 run in the fourth quarter as the Yellow Jackets defeated the visiting Wildcats. Devanta Williams led Vincent (3-2) with 17 points. Keyon Wallace had 12 points and 16 rebounds.

Jordan Simon led the Wildcats with 21 points. Tyler Madison added 12 points.

Oak Grove 83, Indian Springs 69

Charlie Simpson led Indian Springs (3-4) with 26 points. Hart Wilson added 13 points.

Holy Family 69, Westminster 40

Jeff Stanford led Westminster with 24 points.

Pinson Valley 58, Briarwood Christian 54

Justin Bice led the Lions 16 points. James Palmer and Jason Laatsch scored 15 points each.

Coosa Valley Academy 49, South Montgomery County Academy 26

Gage Holmes led the Rebels (2-1, 1-0 in AISA Class 1A, Region 1) with 15 points.

Jemison 64, Montevallo 60

Eric Chappell led the Bulldogs (0-2) with 14 points and eight rebounds. Brandon Lilly added 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Hoover 61, Pelham 49

Tanner Rice led the Panthers (4-4, 0-1 in Class 6A, Area 10) with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Xavier Lacey added 12 points.

Oak Mountain 64, Pell City 41

Cary Baxter led the Eagles (4-2) with 17 points. Chris Pegg added 15 points. Mark Caldwell had 11 points and Colton McGriff finished with 10 points.

Hope Christian 69, East Central Academy 37

Adam Gurley led the Eagles (2-1, 2-1 in ACSC) with 16 points. Pete Thomas added 12 points and 10 rebounds. Terrance Moore and Caleb Douglas finished with 10 points each.