Thompson grabs thrilling final-second win against Hueytown

Published 2:57 pm Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By SETH HAGAN | Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – Trailing by one point in the final seconds of a matchup with Hueytown on Tuesday, Jan. 4, the Thompson Warriors turned to senior Wesley Roberson in hopes of a win in their final game before area play.

Roberson caught a pass at the top of the key with four seconds to go, faked a shot, dribbled left and went up for the game winner, ultimately getting fouled on a three-point shot with 0.6 seconds remaining.

He hit the first, but the second rimmed out prolonging the drama with a 59-59 tie. Then, the home crowd heaved a collective sigh of relief as he calmly sank the third.

“I’m really proud of our effort,” head coach Dru Powell said after the win. “I thought our energy was great. played against a really good opponent. I was glad to see us come out and compete, play hard and secure the win there at the end.”

And Roberson was a big reason for the 60-59 victory, totaling 21 points in the victory.

“Wes had a big night on both ends of the floor to be honest with you,” Powell said. “Wes is a guy that, for us to get going, needs to play well and fortunately tonight he played very well and we expect that for him moving forward.”

To start the game, Hueytown scored the first five points out of the gate, but the Warriors responded with a 13-0 run getting wo baskets each from Carson Pringle and Chase Lewis.

The Gophers came back with seven straight points in what became a game of runs to the finish.

Roberson then started his night by hitting consecutive treys to open the second quarter, but Hueytown snatched the lead off six straight points from Corey Stephenson.

Pringle asserted himself once again, scoring inside and converting at the free throw line. Roberson then hit both free throws off a one-and-one opportunities to give Thompson a 30-28 halftime lead.

Both teams had runs coming out of the break with Thompson scoring seven straight followed by an 8-0 run from the Gophers to make it a one-point game.

But again, the Warriors came back with an 8-2 run with all eight coming from Pringle and Roberson. Another three from Roberson and a free throw from Pringle gave Thompson its biggest lead of the game at 49-40.

But Hueytown didn’t go down easily.

Stephenson went on the attack again hitting the Gopher’s next five baskets, including two from beyond the arc. He went on to score 15 of Hueytown’s 21 fourth-quarter points.

With the game tied 56-56, Pringle, who had been to the free throw line nine times to that point, got elbowed on the top of his head going up for another basket. He stayed down for several minutes in obvious pain and had to go to the bench.

As the game’s outcome hung in the balance, Powell had to make a big decision replacing Pringle at the line, but revealed the decision wasn’t a difficult one to make and sent eighth grader Jay Green to the stripe.

“Well, the free-throw shooter had to come off the bench and we had a very limited bench tonight, but we were very fortunate because over the course of the season, Jay has been our best foul shooter anyway,” Powell said. “So it worked out in our favor there and Jay came in and knocked down two very big free throws. For an eighth grader, that’s unbelievable.”

Green’s two shots were soon equaled by two more from Stephenson on the other end, which set up a crazy final minute of the contest.

Roberson drove into the paint on Thompson’s next possession, but his hook careened off the rim and back to Hueytown.

The Gophers ran much of the rest of the time off the clock and got the ball to Stephenson, who got to the hoop from baseline, but was fouled.

He hit the first free throw, but the crowd noise threw off the second attempt, leaving the door open for Thompson with just seconds remaining.

That’s when Roberson came down and drew the contact as a threat from beyond the arc. The rest was history, as he went on to drain both free throws to cement the win.

Behind Roberson’s 21, Pringle posted 18 points and seven rebounds to lead the team in that category. Powell lauded Pringle’s physical ability to hang down low despite giving up a size advantage.

“Several of those rebounds were out of his zone against some taller, athletic guys, and he just competed really hard,” Powell said. “He’s a great kid and a hard worker so I was glad to see him have the success he did tonight.”

Up next, Thompson will begin their area schedule with a home game against Hoover Friday, January 7 with tip-off slated for 7 p.m.