The Thompson High girls’ basketball team looked very comfortable on its home floor on Tuesday night as the Warriors ran away from Montevallo, 55-21, in the first regular season basketball game at Warrior Arena.
In this case, though, looks were just a bit deceiving.
“It was a lot of nerves,” said Thompson head coach JoVanka Ward, who enters her third season at the Warriors’ head coach. “I don’t think our shootaround was great. Our shootaround was poor, if you ask me. I think it comes from new facilities, new game, new everything. Every single thing tonight was new for us.”
None of that showed at the outset as the Warriors dominated the first quarter. Thompson scored the first 15 points of the game and didn’t allow a field goal until there were 42 seconds remaining in the opening stanza. It wasn’t always pretty but it was dominating, particularly on the defensive end.
“We’re small but believe in trying to be gritty defensively and do those little things,” said Ward, whose team forced nine first quarter turnovers and 23 total in the game.
On the offensive end, it was junior forward Brooklyn Oden leading the way early. She scored six first quarter points with all of them coming in transition.
The Warriors eventually took a 26-9 lead into halftime and ran away for good with a dominating third quarter. Thompson outscored Montevallo, 20-6, in the third quarter. Junior point guard London Wooley led the way in the period with 11 points.
Wooley led the way with 17 points overall while Oden added 10 points. The balanced scoring attack also included senior forward Zoria Miller (eight points), sophomore guard Lindsey Cook (seven points) and senior guard McKenzie Saylor (seven points).
“I’m glad we came out and had a chance to play in our brand new arena (with) the hype and the excitement and everything,” Ward said. “I’m excited we got the win (and I) saw some good things. We’ve been playing against each other it seems like forever. Just about everybody opened up last week, I’ve been kind of anxious.”