Calera edges Thompson in back-and-forth rivalry battle

Published 4:39 pm Monday, December 20, 2021

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By SETH HAGAN | Special to the Reporter 

ALABASTER – The Calera Eagles shook off a tough overtime loss against Briarwood a night earlier and got out of Thompson with a close 51-48 win on Friday, Dec. 17.

The game was close from start to finish featuring eight lead changes and several ties. Head coach George Drake talked after the game about his team’s perseverance.

“A while ago, when we started the season, we talked to this team about resiliency,” Drake said. “Those guys in there are fighters and there was no doubt in our minds that we could come back after a game where we were in overtime and come out and compete and that’s what we did.”

The teams played to a 10-10 stalemate in the first quarter with Thompson hitting two 3-pointers and Calera getting five points from Tierren Thomas.

That started a tight battle, as neither squad led by more than five points the entire game.

Thomas and Damian Wooley added multiple baskets for Calera in the second quarter, while Carson Pringle had a stretch of six in a row for Thompson.

With the Warriors down two, Jose Gonzales hit a triple right before the halftime buzzer for the 24-23 lead at break.

The same tempo continued into the second half as the lead volleyed back and forth. Thompson’s four baskets came from four different guys, and Cameron Coxwell scored Calera’s last five points to give the Eagles a 35-34 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Calera took a 41-36 lead on a Xzayvion Childress three-point play, but Masiah Robinson hit back-to-back threes to give Thompson the lead back.

Tre Adolphus followed that up with two more baskets to give the Warriors a 46-43 lead.

Childress and Thomas, however, helped the Eagles close it out with a basket and two huge free throws on a one-and-one to win.

Thomas led Calera with 12 points as Childress chipped in with nine.

Pringle and Masiah Robinson both scored 12 for Thompson.