Thompson girls use second-half run to beat Montevallo

By SETH HAGAN | Special to the Reporter

MONTEVALLO – Thompson’s Lady Warriors used a strong defensive second half and a 14-0 run to pick up a big road win over Montevallo Monday, Nov 18.

Up 15-10 at the half, Thompson locked down the Bulldogs afterward and emerged with the 48-24 win.

The first half was rough sledding as both teams struggled to find momentum. Montevallo had it the hardest 13 turnovers in the first quarter alone and 20 total in the first half. The Warriors couldn’t convert those into points and scored seven of their 15 from the free throw line.

Montevallo had to do the same hitting six free throws, but missing on all but two of their field goal attempts.

“We weren’t ready. We didn’t mentally prepare like we needed to,” said Thompson head coach Marty Smith. “At halftime I challenged the ladies and said ‘This isn’t who you are and it’s not the level I’m used to seeing you play at. I want to see you raise your level of effort and tenacity,’ and you go from 15 points to finish the game with 48 so we took advantage of our opportunities, but we also stayed out of foul trouble.”

Thompson found the spark it needed after halftime as junior guard Lindsey Cook scored all eight of her points in the quarter. Cook’s shooting jump started the Warriors’ offense along with strong pressure after made baskets.

They forced an additional 19 turnovers after halftime and, unlike the first half, made the Bulldogs pay with several easy layups off of steals. Up 19-16 in the middle of the third quarter, the Warriors went on a run that spanned into the final period of play outscoring Montevallo 19-3 to take a commanding lead they didn’t relinquish.

Senior guard London Wooley was consistent all night for the Warriors and led all scorers with 14 points. Her ability to get in the passing lanes and convert on the other end was the difference.

“She is really trying to buy into what we want as a staff in order for this team to be successful,” Smith said. “It’s taken some time for her to adjust but she’s adjusting and because of that a lot of the other girls are coming out and adjusting as well because of what London has done previously playing in a lot of games.”

Junior forward Alayah King’s effort can’t be understated, as she crashed the boards all night. Thompson ended up with 14 offensive rebounds of which King easily had half and finished the night with eight points and double digit rebounds.

“I tell her all the time if I can just dial her in,” Smith said with a smile. “I’ve said this to her face so I’ll say this publicly: she’s one of the top five athletes I’ve ever coached, period. And because of that, the sky’s the limit if she can harness that and play under control.”

Thompson allowed just eight total field goals from Montevallo for the entire night.