Thompson drops first game of season in thrilling 2-point loss

Published 4:51 pm Tuesday, November 27, 2018

By SETH HAGAN | For the Reporter 

ALABASTER – The Thompson Warriors’ first loss of the season came with a heartbreaking ending as a slim fourth-quarter lead slipped away at the hands of the Dora Bulldogs on Monday, Nov. 26, at Thompson High School.

The lead swung back and forth the whole game and changed hands nine times with four ties, but, in the end, Dora escaped Warrior Arena with a 53-51 road win.

The Bulldogs sought to slow down the tempo of the game from the outset and succeeded in the first quarter. Thompson couldn’t find their rhythm in the half-court offense and only two 3-pointers from Jack Dolorek kept the Warriors in the game to that point.

Dora got five baskets from five different players to take a 12-8 lead after one.

A more up-tempo second quarter favored the Warriors as they were able to get baskets in transition which also led to better outside shooting. Thompson almost tripled their scoring from the first quarter as Grant Hopkins got hot and scored all nine of his points in the period.

Hopkins and Van Mahone both hit threes and scored all the points in a 10-0 run late in the quarter to give the Warriors their biggest lead of the night, 27-18.

However, Dora came back with eight quick points to close the margin before halftime as Thompson’s lead was cut to 29-26.

Brad Lewis paced the Warriors early in the third quarter scoring five of his nine points, but Dora continued its hot shooting from outside to take a 38-34 lead.

Thompson responded with another big run as Zach Littleton scored six in a 9-0 run that recaptured the lead once again at 43-38.

Another three from Dora’s Kaleb Towns just before the buzzer halted the momentum as the Warriors led 43-41 going into the final period.

Two quick baskets from Thompson increased the lead to six, but Dora’s Brent Greeter couldn’t be stopped in the fourth quarter. The junior shooting guard scored nine of his team-high 17 including his fourth 3-pointer of the night to take the lead for good at 52-51.

On their second to last possession, the Warriors tried to move the ball around to find the open man, but an errant skip pass was overthrown and landed out of bounds returning the ball to the Bulldogs. Greeter stepped to the line and hit one of two free throws, giving Thompson another chance to tie or win the game.

Inbounding the ball with 4.8 seconds remaining, Littleton drove to the hoop as the clock expired lifting a highly contested layup that missed its mark, ending the game.

The Warriors move to 4-1 on the season and will look for redemption on the road this Thursday, Nov 29, as they take on the Homewood Patriots. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.