Thompson gives defending champ Mountain Brook strong test

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

ALABASTER – The Thompson Warriors tested the defending Class 7A state champions on Thursday, Nov. 14, but ultimately couldn’t overcome slow starts to every quarter of the game in an 81-68 loss.

The Warriors ended every quarter on a run, but were unable to sustain that success into the next quarter as the Spartans capitalized with a fast start in each period of the game, before then pulling away late in the final frame.

In the opening quarter of the game, Mountain Brook came out with a full-court press, which caused trouble for the Warriors in their first home game of the season.

The Spartans were able to take advantage with an 8-0 run out of the gate and then eventually capitalized on three straight turnovers with three easy layups in a row to take an early 16-5 lead.

Thompson, however, was able to bounce back with a few big dunks from Chaney Johnson and Brad Lewis, while also hitting four 3-pointers late in the quarter from Grant Hopkins and Zack Littleton to come all the way back and make it a 23-19 game at the end of the period.

In almost the exact same situation, Mountain Brook was able to storm out of the gate again in the second quarter with a 13-6 run, which put the Spartans on top by 13 at 38-25.

From that point on, however, the Warriors were able to end the quarter on an 8-1 run behind a late 3-pointer from Jack Dorolek and some strong play from Lewis to make it 39-33 at the half.

Coming out of the locker room, Mountain Brook was able to continue doing what it had done all night by squashing momentum the Warriors built at the end of each quarter.

The Spartans started the third period on an 11-7 run to go back up by 10 points at 50-40.

Yet again, Thompson was able to swing the momentum late in the quarter thanks to four consecutive points from Johnson and two NBA-range 3-pointers from Dorolek, which cut the deficit to two points late in the frame.

Mountain Brook, however, answered that with a 4-0 run to end the quarter to extend its lead to 56-50 heading to the final period.

That seemed to spark the Spartans in the fourth quarter, as they carried that momentum over and started the frame with an 8-2 run to take a 12-point 64-52 lead.

Thompson continued to battle and had the deficit at 10 points with four minutes to play, but the Spartans went on to knock down free throws in the final quarter to close out the victory.

The Warriors ended the game with four players in double figures, including 14 from both Dorolek and Hopkins. Lewis finished with 12 points, while Johnson had 10.

Colby Clements led Mountain Brook with 24 points.