Thompson downs No. 2 Hoover in top-10 area battle

Published 6:06 pm Saturday, January 20, 2024

By SETH HAGAN | Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – It was a night of mixed emotions inside Warrior Arena on Friday, Jan. 19 as the Thompson Warriors picked up a top-10 win against rival Hoover while paying tribute to longtime Warrior Nation Network broadcaster Jerry Young who passed away a week earlier.

Thompson High School students and fans said goodbye with a tribute and a moment of silence for the voice of the Warriors. The somber moment soon turned to one of excitement that Young would have been proud of as the No. 7 ranked Warriors took down No. 2 Hoover 65-55.

The two rivals battled in a close game through the first half, but it was Thompson who caught fire in the third quarter and prevailed for the 10-point win.

After the game, Thompson head coach DJ Black lauded his players’ effort and the energy from the fans.

“This was a total team win,” he said. “All 13 guys contributed. The energy in Warrior Arena was electric, it’s how every game needs to be. We need a sell out next Friday for our senior Masiah Robinson. He has poured everything into Thompson Basketball. Coach Ware does a great job and this will continue to be a fun series for years to come. We are among the top teams in the state and we schedule the best teams we can to continue to prepare ourselves. Our guys are learning to play in and now win big games.”

Hoover won big at home in the first of the series several weeks ago and jumped out to a 7-0 run to start the game, but the Warriors recovered with a strong finish to the opening period on an 11-5 run.

Thompson kept things close before halftime and got big contributions from Jay Green, while Riley Bryant was big off the bench in the process. Both teams scored the exact same points in the first two quarters to grind their way to a 24-22 halftime score.

After the break, the game remained close with Hoover holding a one or two possession lead early, but Thompson quickly found the hot hand from long range.

DaeShaun Morrisette in particular set the arena ablaze with three straight treys. Colben Landrew then caught fire as well, as he and Green were aggressive to the rim time and again.

“DaeShaun is the biggest sleeper in the 2026 class,” Black said. “The kid does it all but the best part is how all these kids make each other better. That’s what is fun to coach. They enjoy each other’s success more than their own. It’s why college coaches are becoming more and more interested in our kids.”

The Warriors lead ballooned to as many as 18 in the fourth quarter and the Buccaneers couldn’t trim the deficit further than nine points the rest of the way.

Morrisette set the pace for Thompson sinking four of five from long range en route to a 17-point, six assist, six rebound performance.

Landrew led the squad in scoring with 19 points on the night, going 9-17 from the field with four rebounds. Green also finished in double digits with 12 points and four assists, while Bryant added seven points and four rebounds off the bench.

Thompson will continue their area schedule with a road game at Tuscaloosa County Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. and return home to play Vestavia Hills on Friday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m.