Thompson puts together strong showing at own tournament
Published 1:38 pm Monday, November 29, 2021
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor
ALABASTER – It didn’t end the way the Thompson Warriors hoped, but with their 2-1 showing at the Warrior Invitational Nov. 22-24, they continued to show promising signs early in the season.
The Warriors, who entered the tournament with a record of 2-2 with the two losses to Northridge and defending Class 6A State Champion Mountain Brook by a combined seven points, picked up wins of 75-50 against Chickasaw and 63-52 against Carver Montgomery in the first two rounds of their own tournament.
That led into a matchup with Enterprise for the championship on Wednesday, Nov. 24.
Taking on a Class 7A Final Four team from last year, the Warriors didn’t back down on their home floor, which led to a thrilling overtime battle between the two.
The Warriors grabbed an early lead at 6-5, but Enterprise responded with a 15-5 run to end the opening quarter and grab a 20-11 advantage going into the second period.
But after giving up 20 in the first eight minutes, the Thompson defense buckled down in the second quarter and held the visiting Wildcats to eight points.
The Warriors started the quarter on a 7-2 run with a Carson Pringle 3-pointer trimming the deficit to four points midway through the period.
Enterprise held a four-point lead for a while, but the Warriors then hit a free throw to cut it to three points before Jose Gonzalez drained a three from the corner to tie the game at 26-26 with 45 seconds to play in the half.
The Wildcats did add one last jumper to take a two-point lead into the half, but the Warriors had erased a large deficit after one quarter.
Coming out of the half, Thompson grabbed its first lead since 6-5 with two huge 3-pointers to start the third quarter, which quickly put the Warriors in front by four.
After a steal and fast break led to a layup from Pringle shortly after made it 34-30, the Warriors got another three from Wesley Roberson early in the quarter to make it 37-30 with 5:07 to play in the frame.
Landen Lawrence then hit another one from beyond the arc for the Warriors to maintain the seven-point lead as late as 1:50 to go in the period.
Enterprise, however, ended the third quarter with a 3-pointer to answer, which cut the deficit to 42-38 going to the fourth quarter.
Early in the final quarter, after Enterprise had cut the deficit to two points, the Warriors hit another big 3-pointer to go in front by five with five minutes to play.
The Wildcats responded once more with a 7-0 run to regain the lead after hitting a big 3-pointer in the final three minutes.
After a low-scoring final few minutes, Thompson added two free throws with about a minute left to even the score at 47-47 and force overtime.
Early in the extra frame, however, it was the Wildcats who did all of the scoring.
They made three of four from the free throw line and hit a field goal to jump out to a 52-47 advantage.
Thompson did hit a field goal to cut the deficit to three points at 52-49, but Enterprise closed out the game with two more clutch free throws to cement the 54-49 victory.
Thompson improved to 4-3 following the tournament thanks to their two wins, while all three losses this year are to the 6A State Champion from last year, a 7A Final Four team from last year and a 6A Elite Eight team from last year all by five points or less.