Thompson girls crush Aggies in opener

Published 10:43 pm Thursday, November 10, 2011

By KALA BOLTON / Staff Writer

ALABASTER — The Thompson girls’ basketball team dominated the Sylacauga Aggies in front of a full home crowd Nov. 10, and senior Rachel Lawley saw the Warriors’ 63-32 season-opening win as fresh start for a team looking to make a new name for itself.

“This is a new start to a new year, and we have a whole different team,” Lawley said. “This just gives us a great starting point.”

The match remained scoreless midway through the first quarter before Thompson found some rhythm following back-to-back buckets from Lawley and fellow senior KaDeisha Stowes.

“I think they were hyped up and full of energy,” Warriors’ head coach Cara Crosslin said. “Once they started to calm down, things started going a little bit better.”

An aggressive Thompson defense kept the Aggies scoreless until the second quarter, but the Warriors maintained control with the help of three steals and three layups from freshman Janese Richardson.

Lawley sunk a jumper and 3-point shot to start the second half as the Warriors continued their aggressive attack.

“I knew we were going to be fast, and I wanted to keep an up-tempo game, and we did that, I thought,” Crosslin said. “They brought a lot of energy, and they fulfilled the expectations.”

The Warriors snagged 7 unanswered points in the during the last minute of the third quarter after a 3-pointer from sophomore Abby Kreuser, layup by junior Victoria Taylor and Richardson hook shot.

It was raining 3-pointers as Kreuser, junior Maye Hartman and sophomore Kiarra Petway each sunk one from downtown to start the fourth quarter. The Warriors outscored the Aggies by just one point in the final quarter, but it was enough to cap a 63-32 season-opening victory.

“I tried to keep fresh legs in and rotate them in and out as best I could,” Crosslin said. “Everybody got in and played fast, played hard.”

Richardson led the team with 15 points, five rebounds, four steals and one shot block. Kreuser totaled 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds, and Petway added 10 points on the night.

“I want their energy to stay high every game, and I think they’ll do that,” Crosslin said. “I think they’ll rise to the occasion. They know that the last couple years have been kind of a lull for us, so this group wants to exceed everything that has been done the last couple of years.”