Oak Mountain girls stun Thompson in thriller

Published 12:54 am Friday, February 14, 2014

Thompson's Indiah Cohill tries to drive past Oak Mountain's Sara Garrard in a Feb. playoff matchup. (Contributed/Eric Starling)

Thompson’s Indiah Cohill tries to drive past Oak Mountain’s Sara Garrard in a Feb. playoff matchup. (Contributed/Eric Starling)

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer

ALABASTER — When the dust cleared at the end of an absolute shootout between the Thompson Warriors and the Oak Mountain Eagles, the Class 6A, Area 7 champion Warriors found themselves eliminated from the playoffs in the sub-regional round.

The Eagles, who had lost both previous regular season meetings with he Warriors, used a come from behind push in the second half to upend Thompson, 72-69.

The tone for the game was set early on, as both squads fought tooth-and-nail to a 6-6 tie early in the first quarter.

It was Oak Mountain, however, that found traction on offense first and began to pull away. Two free throws by Allie Allers put Oak Mountain up 8-6, and thus began a 11-3 run that saw Madison Pierce, D’Miyah Foster and Christian McGowan all chip in points for OMHS.

Trailing 19-9, a pair of threes by Lauren Black and Kiarra Pettway along with two free throws by Jordan LeNoir pulled the Warriors to 19-17 at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, it was Thompson’s turn to go on a scoring run. LeNoir opened the quarter with a bucket, as Pettway, Myesa Pelton and Indiah Cohill all contributed to help boost Thompson to a 15-7 run to start the quarter. With just minutes left to play, the end of the quarter became a 3-point shooting contest. LeNoir sandwiched a 3-ball between three’s by Sara Garrard and Kaitlin West to give the Warriors a 37-32 lead headed into the half.

When play resumed it was Oak Mountain that mounted the offensive, reeling off a 10-7 run to start the third. Down by four, a 3-pointer by Foster a bucket-and-one by Pierce gave the Eagles a 48-46 lead late in the third. Not to be outdone, Cohill and Kelsea Bivins were able to finish strong for the Warriors, evening the score at 50-50 headed in to the fourth.

Pierce, Foster, McGowan and Alexandra Allers all combined to give the Eagles an 8-2 run to start the fourth. Six straight Warrior points courtesy of Bivins and Janese Richardson tied the game at 58-58 with just under three minutes to play.

Cohill tied the game again a 60-60 with 3:40 left in the quarter when McGowan drilled a three to put OMHS up 63-60. Pelton matched it to bring the Warriors even at 63-all.

Pierce scored a bucket and free throw to give the Eagles a 66-63 lead, but Bivins cut the lead to one before an Allers’ layup gave OMHS a 68-65 lead with 1:32 to go in the contest. Richardson closed the gap to 68-67 with 43.1 seconds to play, but four straight Eagle points sealed a 72-69 win.

Head coach George Minoso said he was very proud of his team’s effort in the win.

“Thompson is such a great program,” he said. “It’s been a tough matchup every single time we’ve played them. For (our girls) to finally get that one game to say that we can not only play with them, but to beat them, it’s a great win for (us).”

McGowan finished with 15 points an two rebounds, while Pierce posted 22 points, six rebounds two steals, an assist and a block and Foster had 14 points, six rebounds, two steals an assist and a block. The Eagles now move on to take on Jeff Davis Feb. 19.