Thompson wins Shelby County tournament easily
Published 1:44 pm Sunday, December 20, 2015
By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor
NORTH SHELBY – The Briarwood Christian basketball Lady Lions beat Chelsea by 30 and Montevallo by four in overtime to advance to the championship game against the Lady Warriors from Thompson. Thompson, the No. 3 team in class 7A and the No. 1 ranked team in the tournament, beat Pelham and Calera by an average of 18 points to advance to the finals, which took place at Oak Mountain High School on Dec. 19. Briarwood, which brought an 11-1 record into the championship game, played Thompson relatively close in the first half before the Lady Warriors opened things up in the second half, eventually winning the championship game by a final of 49-34.
Thompson’s scoring was very evenly distributed in the first half, as Kahyanne Bolton, Azariah Jackson, Joran LeNoir Indian Cohill and Brittany Grice each had at least three points in the half. But Briarwood, led by Molly McKenzie, only trailed by 13 at the half, and pulled within 11 early in the third quarter at 29-18. The Lady Warriors then ripped off a 14-1 run thanks to good perimeter shooting from Lauren Black as well as multiple easy transition buckets, which put the game out of reach.
“I thought we played well, I thought this was our best game of the tournament,” Thompson head coach Josh Golden said after the game. “I thought we played with more intensity than we did the first two rounds. I think anytime you get a chance to win the county championship, it’s special.”
The transition offense paired with Thompson’s full court, 1-3-1 press defense was more than enough to get past a good Briarwood team in the championship, and after taking a 45-26 lead into the fourth quarter, the Lady Warriors took home the county championship after a light last period.
“I thought we were really good defensively, talking with each other and communicating,” Golden added. “We were good defensively and made enough plays offensively to win.”
Grice and Bolton each scored 12 points while Grice added 10 rebounds for a double-double in the championship round. McKenzie led Briarwood with 15 points.
Thompson improved to 13-1 with the win while Briarwood fell to 11-2.