Thompson earns close win over Briarwood

Published 1:38 pm Friday, November 24, 2023

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

ALABASTER – The Briarwood Christian Lions gave the Thompson Warriors all they could handle, but the Warriors came out on top in the first game of the Thompson Thanksgiving Invitational after taking the lead in the final minute and holding on until the end for a 51-49 win on Monday, Nov. 20.

Thompson opened the game on a 15-8 run to take early control of the game. That stretch included a pair of three-pointers from Daeshaun Morrissette and let the Warriors lead going into the second quarter.

Briarwood put up a fight in the second quarter and only let Thompson extend its lead by two points before the halftime break. The Warriors had a solid quarter powered by seven points from Jay Green, and the 14-point effort left Thompson up 29-20 going into halftime.

The Lions responded with a rally to flip the game on its head. Drew Mears kept his great game going with a third straight six-point quarter, and Caleb Keller and Garrett Witherington also chipped in to help Briarwood draw close.

Then, Briarwood hit a buzzer-beater at the end of the third quarter to take a 39-38 lead and put all of the pressure on Thompson going into the fourth quarter.

Thompson recovered in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter to go up 44-39, but Briarwood roared back to take a 49-48 lead, which forced the Warriors to take a timeout with 1:45 left.

Thompson then made a shot with 17 seconds left to take the lead, and it held on to it during the Lions’ final two possessions to escape with a 51-49 win.

Green and Morrissette both scored 12 points to lead the Warriors, Masiah Robinson had 11 points, six rebounds and four steals, Carson McKenney had seven points and seven rebounds and Riley Bryant scored six points.

Morrissette also had five steals, four assists and four rebounds in a great all-around performance and Green had four rebounds and four assists.

Mears had a phenomenal game for Briarwood, and despite the loss, he led all scorers with 28 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter. In addition, Thomas Loudon and Witherington both scored six points.