Senior leads Warriors past rival Panthers

Thompson High School senior guard Rachel Lawley attempts a shot in the Warriors' 52-41 win over rival Pelham in an Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A, Area 10 contest Jan. 17. (Contributed/Eric Starling)

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

ALABASTER — Thompson High School girls’ basketball coach Cara Crosslin wasn’t surprised to see senior guard Rachel Lawley lead the Warriors in scoring in a 52-41 win over rival Pelham in an Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A, Area 10 contest Jan. 17.

Crosslin didn’t expect the 5-foot-6 playmaker to also lead the Warriors’ rebounding effort.

Lawley broke out with a 15-point, 15-rebound performance in the victory, which drew her plenty of praise from her head coach after the game.

“She was all over the place,” Crosslin said. “She’s stepped her game up drastically since Christmas. I can’t say enough good things about her.”

Kierra Petway added 10 points for the Warriors, who improved to 12-9 overall, including 2-1 in Class 6A, Area 10.

KaDeisha Stowes chipped in seven points. Katie Guiser finished with five points.

Hannah Oglesby, Kat Cingoranelli and Abby Kreuser contributed four points each. Sophie Cingoranelli finished with three points.

Ashley Kate Kepler led Pelham (14-5 overall, 0-3 in Class 6A, Area 10) with 11 points.

Sydney Days added nine points. Kaitlin Bunch chipped in eight points.

Emily Jackson and Erin Whitman finished with five points each. Kristan Cordrey contributed three points.

Thompson capped the first half with a 7-0 run and took its first double-digit lead in the game, 25-15, following a free throw by Kat Cingoranelli with 26.2 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

The Warriors pushed their lead to 18 points, 36-18, following a jumper by Lawley with 2:41 remaining in the third quarter.

Thompson led by as many as 24 points in the fourth quarter, the last time following a free throw by Oglesby midway through the final period. Pelham closed the game with a 16-3 run, but the Panthers couldn’t cut the deficit to single digits.

Crosslin said the win allowed the Warriors to cement their status as the second-best team in Class 6A, Area 10 play behind powerhouse Hoover.

“Our area is tough,” Crosslin said. “The kids are getting after it.”