Double-figure scorers lead Pelham to rivalry win at Thompson
Published 10:26 am Tuesday, December 18, 2018
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor
ALABASTER – The Pelham Panthers used four double-figure scorers in a rivalry matchup against Thompson on Monday, Dec. 17, to pick up a strong 71-57 road win against the Warriors—perhaps their best win of the season.
While Thompson (9-3) has been more consistent this season, Pelham (8-5)was coming off a momentous win against Madison Academy on Saturday, Dec. 15, and the Warriors a heartbreaking loss to Homewood by three points the Friday night before, which evened things out heading into the already intense rivalry.
While the game was back-and-forth the majority of the time, with both teams trading shots, it was a strong defensive stand in the second quarter that became the difference before a high-scoring second half ensued.
Pelham started its impressive night early in the first quarter thanks to workhorse post player Chris Brown. Brown was able to knock down three shots in the opening period, while fellow forward Kendan Maddox hit two more and sharp-shooter Blake Floyd knocked down one 3-pointer, which gave the Panthers 13 points at the end of the period.
Thompson didn’t have a bad period itself posting 10 points from four different scorers, but the Warriors went into the second period down by three points, which soon became a factor.
The Panthers’ offensive effort was consistent in the second period as they continued to take advantage of mismatches in the post with Brown, who went on to score nine points in the period including an and-1.
His powerful play sparked the entire team’s energy as Pelham’s defense also fed off of that momentum. The team posted 13 points offensively, but more impressively, they held the Warriors to just one field goal in the half and four total points.
That complete shift in the game gave Pelham a 12-point 26-14 lead at the half.
Thompson knew it had to make adjustments at the half, which happened, but slowing the Panthers’ offense down on this night proved to be a tall task.
The Warriors came out and had their best offensive quarter of the game to that point posting 16 points behind five different scorers and three 3-pointers, but the defensive end continued to be a problem.
Thompson’s defense became much more aggressive on Brown forcing him to the free throw line, but he knocked down all four of his free throws in the period, and more importantly the floor was opened up for other players to get involved.
After the Warriors had attempted to climb back into it, Pelham ended up getting a combined 14 points from four other players, including two more 3-pointers, which allowed the Panthers to extend their lead to 44-30 at the end of the third quarter.
Then, chaos ensued.
In what had been a pretty average game on the offensive end of the floor, both teams exploded for a combined 54 points in the final quarter, which was more than the two had combined for in the entire first half.
Thompson continued to try and climb back into the game with 27 points in the final quarter thanks to 10 from Tre Roberson and nine from Zack Littleton, but the Panthers were right there to match with 27 points of their own.
The two teams combined to shoot 27 free throws in the period, but it was Pelham that walked away with the win thanks to a strong 6-6 mark from the line from Floyd, including a four-point play at one point.
For the game, Pelham shot 16-21 from the line, while Thompson also shot a solid percentage going 13-18.
In the end, that strong defensive second quarter by the Panthers was the difference as the Warriors had to battle uphill the rest of the game.
Brown paved the way for Pelham with his double-double posting 22 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks. Maddox added 16 points and four more blocks, while Floyd poured in 15 points with a strong free throw shooting night and three 3-pointers. Jacob Shumate was the final double-figure scorer with 11 points.
Thompson was led by Littleton with 14 points, while Roberson posted 12. Chaney Johnson also helped out with his nine points.