Thompson girls start with thrilling OT victory against Mountain Brook
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor
MOUNTAIN BROOK – When Mountain Brook hit a shot at the end of regulation to tie the score at 55-55, the Thompson girls basketball team didn’t hang their heads or look dejected. Instead, after heaving up a last-second attempt that was no good, they walked straight to the bench to head coach Marty Smith and got ready for overtime.
A team that entered the season with a newfound confidence in their second year under Smith, the Warriors didn’t look panicked, and instead looked ready to seize the moment in a tightly-contested opener.
And in overtime, Thompson showed it could handle the clutch moment early in the season. Thanks to two free throws from Alecia Reasor and one from Natalie French, her only point of the game, the Warriors got to 58 points and held the Spartans to just one field goal in the OT period to claim a one-point, 58-57 victory.
After losing to the Spartans 52-35 in the second game of the season last year, the opening-night win this year showed quickly the growth they’ve already seen.
A big reason for the early success was not only the scoring of Reasor, Lindsey Cook and Alayah King, but the defense throughout the game as well.
In the opening period of the contest, Thompson came out strong on that end of the floor, limiting the Spartans to two made field goals and one free throw for five points.
On the other end of the floor, it wasn’t a dominant start for the Warriors offensively, but they were still able to grab the early lead. They got a 3-pointer from Mylah Dixon and jumpers from Dasia Huynh and Reasor to post eight points for three-point advantage at the end of one.
The second quarter, however, is where we saw the potential Thompson has offensively this season.
While the Warriors gave up 14 points on the defensive end, they made the Spartans earn every point. Mountain Brook only had two made shots in the quarter, with everything else coming at the free throw line.
But Cook and Reasor came out on fire in the period. Cook went a perfect 5-5 from the free throw line and added two field goals for nine of her 12 points in the game.
Reasor added to that with a 3-4 mark from the free throw line and two field goals herself to account for seven of her game-high 18 points.
Those two, along with two more field goals from Zyon Gaiters and Kenzey Hall-Booker, helped Thompson score 20 points in the quarter to take a 28-19 lead into the half.
But coming out of the halftime break, the Spartans had made adjustments on both ends of the floor.
They were able to put up 17 points in the third quarter thanks to Bentley Brewer posting eight herself, while they limited Thompson to 11 points.
That pulled Mountain Brook back to within three points heading to the final quarter at 39-36.
Mountain Brook closed that three-point gap in the final quarter, but it didn’t happen until the final seconds when the Spartans banked in a contested layup for the tie to force overtime.
But the three free throws proved to be the difference in the extra period for the Warriors to get their season off to a 1-0 start.
Reasor finished with five made shots and went 7-10 from the free throw line to lead the way with her 18 points, while Cook finished 5-5 from the line with 12 points, including a made 3-pointer. King finished with 10 points for a third scorer in double figures.