Seniors lead THS to dominant victory on senior night

Published 1:47 pm Wednesday, January 30, 2019

By SETH HAGAN | For the Reporter

ALABASTER – Dru Powell’s first season at the helm for the Thompson Warriors boys basketball program has been a success, and that trend continued Monday, Jan. 28, as they thrashed the Chilton County Tigers on senior night, 83-32.

The boys put on a shooting display splashing 14 shots from beyond the arc to fuel a prolific first half as the fans said goodbye to four seniors who combined for 49 points in a fitting end to their careers at Warrior Arena.

All four seniors started and wasted no time, particularly Matt Hector, who got the team going from outside connecting on three long range bombs for nine points.

Chris Hopkins got in on the act as well, running baseline to baseline, affecting the game at both ends of the court. He had his biggest quarter as well scoring six points as the Warriors raced out to a 20-7 lead.

“I’m so excited for Matt Hector, he’s such a great kid who’s been a really great team player for us,” Powell said with a smile. “I couldn’t be any more proud of Matt.”

The sky opened up early, as Thompson dropped seven 3-pointers and 32 points total in the opening period alone leaving no doubt. The defense also added nine forced turnovers in the lopsided quarter.

Hector added two more treys to his total before halftime to finish with 15 first half points, already eclipsing his season high. Fellow senior AJ Bonham got involved as well adding seven points in his best quarter of the game, as the Warriors stretched their lead to 52-20 heading into the second half.

“It’s interesting, a lot of the time a coach will have a group of seniors for four years and all four of ours played football so I’ve only had them about six or seven weeks,” Powll said. “But they’re great teammates, they knew they were coming in late and they’ve all accepted their roles and they’ve all helped us in one capacity or another. Four guys we’re definitely going to miss that have played a big part in our successful season.”

Thompson (18-10, 2-4) followed the offensive assault with a defensive clinic in the third quarter allowing just one baskets and three points total.

Grant Hopkins scored all six of his points in the quarter to lead the team, which continued to extend its lead. Brad Lewis and Chris Hopkins patrolled the paint aggressively blocking several shots and altering countless others during the evening.

By the end of the third, the Warriors nearly tripled the Tigers’ scoring at 67-23. Hector went on to add five more points in the second half to finish with a game-high and career-high 20 points in his last home game.

Bonham and Hopkins both got into double figures scoring 11 and 10 points, respectively, while Jalen Bustamante also added eight points in his final home game.

“Making sure we’re all on the same page and pulling in the same direction toward the end of season is our biggest focus,” Powell said. “I believe we’ve been doing that and the guys feel they’re on the cusp of something really special so I’m excited to see how we play in late January and early February.”

Thompson is set to face the Helena Huskies tonight at 7:30 p.m. followed by a matchup at Pelham on Friday.