The Thompson High boys and girls basketball team each opened Class 7A Area 5 play on Tuesday night against visiting Hoover. The final result wasn’t what either team desired but both teams battled throughout against the team thought to be the area favorite.
Hoover 63, Thompson 31
The Warriors hung tough against the undefeated Bucs early in the game. Hoover led, 13-5, after the first quarter and the advantage was 20-11 midway through the second quarter. However, behind a barrage of 3-pointers, the Bucs built a 42-14 lead by halftime.
Thompson also had trouble with the Bucs size. Hoover had six players who are 6-foot or taller while the Warriors biggest player is 5-foot-10 senior Makayla Hawkins. It was Hawkins who led the way in the first half as she scored all 11 of her team-high points before halftime.
In the second half, senior Kahyanne Bolton was the Warriors’ leading scorer. Hawkins scored nine of her 10 points after halftime, including a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Brooklyn Oden hit a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
Hoover 69, Thompson 32
Heading into area play, Thompson head coach Kelly Cheatham said his team needed to rebound well and take care of the basketball to have success in against difficult area competition. Against Hoover, that proved to be hard to do.
The Bucs turned up the defensive intensity from the start and got plenty of second-chance opportunities by going strong to the offensive boards. That led to a quick start by the Bucs, who scored the game’s first eight points and led, 21-8, at the end of the first quarter. The lead was 45-16 at halftime.
The Warriors had a hard time handling the quickness and strength of Hoover seniors Marion Humphrey and Jamari Blackmon, who combined for 35 points.
Thompson senior Roy’el Everson had a strong night, scoring a team-high 15 points, with much of his production coming in the paint. Freshman J.B. Mitchell had all seven of his points in the second half.
Next game: Both teams continue area play on Friday night at Vestavia Hills. The girls game is scheduled for 6 p.m. and the boys contest is slated to begin at 7:30.