Oak Mountain girls grab key area win against Thompson
Published 12:00 pm Sunday, January 27, 2019
By SETH HAGAN | For the Reporter
ALABASTER – The Oak Mountain Eagles got off to a fast start and didn’t look back during their first visit to Thompson High School’s Warrior Arena.
The Eagles used big runs at the beginning of the first and third quarter to build a big lead and held off the fast charging Warriors late to win 74-63.
The win keeps Oak Mountain out of last place in the area and a first-round match with Hoover in the upcoming area tournament. Instead, the Eagles will meet Tuscaloosa County, who they went 1-1 against during the regular season.
“We played well at times this year and there’s been other times when we haven’t played our best,” Oak Mountain head coach Beth Parmer said. “I’m very proud of them and how they responded, we’ve been working in practice and I’m proud of how they came out and dominated tonight.”
Oak Mountain (13-11, 2-4) came out swinging from the opening tip, especially Kailey Rory who scored 10 first quarter points to help propel the Eagles’ 18-1 run to begin the game.
Rory and her teammates were aggressive on defense and forced 15 turnovers in the first half to open up the huge lead. Despite Thompson finding their footing late in the period the Eagles lead remained wide at 24-7 heading into the second quarter.
“Kailey is so quick she can be all over the floor,” Parmer said. “We needed that. She’s not very vocal, but her leadership on the court in what she does and how she plays is what the rest of the team feeds off of.”
The Warriors (8-16, 1-5) finally got going at home and used full court pressure to keep themselves in the game. They forced nine turnovers in the second quarter and London Wooley scored seven of her nine first half points to lead Thompson before halftime.
The Warriors had their chances at the free throw line to close the disparity, but only connected on four of 10 attempts in the period. Despite the defensive push, Thompson was only able to marginally cut into the lead and still trailed 37-22 at the half.
It was the Eagles again who came out firing to start the second half fueled again by Rory who finally broke the Warriors’ press and found teammate Hannah Edwards early and often to spark a 15-1 run that gave Oak Mountain an overwhelming 29-point lead.
Edwards hit all six of her shots in the quarter for 12 points to help put the game out of reach.
“We’ve known all season that she (Edwards) was an asset and to get her involved like we did tonight, you know it’s really hard to stop someone who’s 6-foot-6 who’s got a great shot,” Parmer said. “She’s getting up and down the court much better than she was last year so we’ve been able to capitalize on it, especially tonight, and going into the area tournament it’ll definitely be big.”
Thompson, down 29, put together a 10-0 run between the end of the third and the start of the fourth quarter, but Oak Mountain slowly made that back up scoring 16 of the next 23 points.
Rory ended up leading the way for the Warriors with 22 points, while Edwards was right behind with 20 points of her own.
Brooklyn Oden was huge for the Warriors in the final period scoring 13 of her team-high 21 points down the stretch, but the deficit was too much to handle.