Dru Powell’s first game as the Thompson High boys basketball head coach was a rousing success as his team led for nearly the entire game in a 54-33 victory over visiting Montevallo on Tuesday night. It was also the first boys’ basketball regular season game played in Warrior Arena.
“I’m just excited for our players,” Powell said. “They’ve been working really hard and they earned what they accomplished tonight. It certainly wasn’t given to them. I’m just proud of the way they played. They competed, they played hard, they played smart and they played together. It was really fun to watch.”
The Warriors opened the season at considerably less than full strength. Six players on the Warriors varsity roster, including the teams only four seniors, are also members of the football team, which has a AHSAA Class 7A quarterfinal game against visiting Hewitt-Trussville.
“We started four sophomores tonight, I knew we’d be young,” Powell said. “But we responded to their pressure well, made some shots early to get going. In the second half, I thought our zone was very effective.”
The Warriors starting lineup on Tuesday consisted of junior Zack Littleton and sophomores Grant Hopkins, Brad Lewis, Jack Dorolek and Steven Walker. Junior Chaney Johnson came off the bench to give the Warriors a spark in the first quarter. Johnson had seven points in the opening period to help give Thompson a 13-12 lead heading into the second quarter.
By halftime, the Warriors enjoyed a 29-21 lead and they held Montevallo scoreless for nearly seven minutes in the third quarter. Thompson led, 37-21, before Montevallo made a 3-pointer with just over a minute left in the third period.
Montevallo never threatened in the fourth quarter.
Littleton and Johnson shared team-high scoring honors with 12 points. Walker chipped in with 11 points, including seven in the fourth quarter. Dorolek added nine points.
The Warriors remain at home for Thursday night’s matchup with Leeds.