Hopkins hits buzzer beater to give Thompson double OT win

Published 10:51 am Friday, November 30, 2018

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

HOMEWOOD – Down 53-52 with 1.6 seconds left and relying on fumes in double overtime on the road at Homewood, Thompson inbounded the ball to Chaney Johnson but instead the ball was thrown toward two Homewood defenders.

With Thompson fans holding their breath, the ball bounced off both Homewood defender’s hands, hit the floor and bounced right into the hands of Grant Hopkins, who picked the ball up on the run, released it from five feet behind the half court line and drained the shot to send the Warriors into a frenzied celebration with a 55-53 double overtime buzzer-beating victory.

The exciting win not only helped Thompson bounce back from its first loss of the season by two points earlier in the week, but came after a 13-point halftime deficit as the Warriors fought back in the second half to force overtime with clutch play, followed by more clutch play in the first overtime to force a second where they made one last unbelievable shot to complete the effort.

In the first half, Thompson struggled on the offensive end of the floor, but in the opening period, the Warriors’ defense did enough to at least keep them in the game.

Thompson got nine points in the period from Jack Dorolek, Hopkins and Johnson, but while the Warriors played solid defense overall, they struggled guarding the 3-point line.

It allowed Homewood to knock down three 3-pointers in the opening period as well as one other field goal to take an 11-9 lead.

That became the theme of the night for the Patriots, who made it evident they were going to live-or-die from beyond the arc, which worked at times and didn’t at others.

In the second quarter, it worked. The reason—Jack Dorough.

Dorough is possibly the team’s best shooter from deep, and he showed why in the second period by knocking down four 3-pointers for 12 points in the frame. Marcello Nani and Eric Schablow also hit one shot a piece from beyond the arc to help play a part in a 20-point quarter for Homewood.

For the second quarter in a row, Thompson was limited to nine points, which allowed the Patriots to take a 31-18 advantage into the half.

It was clear what head coach Dru Powell instilled in his team at the half, and that was to stop everything at the 3-point line after giving up nine deep balls in the first half.

His message was obviously received as the Warriors came out in the third quarter to instantly erase the first half.

Thompson’s defense didn’t allow a single 3-pointer and only gave up one field goal and one free throw to limit the Patriots to three points in the quarter—a drastic change.

Meanwhile on offense, the Warriors finally started heating up. Thanks to seven points from Dorolek and five points from Julian Woods, the Warriors were able to post 17 in the quarter to all of a sudden storm in front for a 35-34 lead heading to the final quarter.

In the final quarter, however, Homewood got back to hitting deep bombs, which allowed them to stay within reach.

The Patriots hit four in the period, while the Warriors went 4-7 from the free throw line, needing just one more to seal the win, but instead, a 48-48 tie led to overtime.

Thompson’s key in the two overtime periods was not allowing another 3-pointer, which gave them a chance in the final two seconds, and Hopkins took advantage with his buzzer-beating shot from just beyond half court.

The Warriors were led by Dorolek with 16 points, while Hopkins and Brad Lewis each added 10 points. Seven players scored in all for Thompson in the game.