Dru Powell’s first season at the helm for the Thompson Warriors boys basketball program has been a success and the team put the cherry on the sundae Monday, Jan 28, as they thrashed the Chilton County Tigers on Senior Night, 83-32. The boys put on a shooting display splashing 14 shots from beyond the arc to fuel a prolific first half as the fans said goodbye to four seniors who combined for 49 points in a fitting end to their careers at Warrior Arena.
All four seniors started and wasted no time, particularly Matt Hector who got the team going from outside connecting on three long range bombs for nine points. Chris Hopkins got in on the act as well running baseline to baseline, affecting the game at both ends of the court. He would have his biggest quarter as well scoring six points as the Warriors raced out to a 20-7 lead.
“I’m so excited for Matt Hector, he’s such a great kid who’s been a really great team player for us,” said Powell, smiling. “I couldn’t be any more proud of Matt.”
There’s no telling whether or not the boys knew if the inclement snow wasn’t coming the following morning, but they made sure it rained all night for the fans cheering in Warrior Arena.
The sky opened up as Thompson dropped seven three pointers and 32 points total on the Tigers to leave no doubt. The defense also added nine forced turnovers in the lopsided quarter.
Hector would add two more treys to his total before halftime to finish with 15 first half points, already eclipsing his season high. Fellow senior AJ Bonham got involved as well adding seven points in his best quarter of the game as the Warriors stretched their lead to 52-20 heading into the second half.
“It’s interesting, a lot of the time a coach will have a group of seniors for four years and all four of ours played football so I’ve only had them about six or seven weeks,” said Powell. “But they’re great teammates, they knew they were coming in late and they’ve all accepted their roles and they’ve all helped us in one capacity or another. Four guys we’re definitely going to miss that have played a big part in our successful season.”
Thompson followed the offensive assault with a defensive clinic in the third quarter allowing just one baskets and three points total. Grant Hopkins scored all six of his points in the quarter to lead the team who continued to extend their lead. Brad Lewis and Chris Hopkins patrolled the paint aggressively blocking several shots and altering countless others during the evening. By the end of the third, the Warriors nearly tripled the Tigers’ scoring, 67-23.
Matt Hector would go on to add five more points in the second half to finish with a game-high and career-high 20 points in his last home game. Bonham and Hopkins both got into double figures scoring 11 and 10 points, respectfully. Jalen Bustamante also added eight points in his final home action.
“Making sure we’re all on the same page and pulling in the same direction toward the end of season is our biggest focus,” said Powell. “I believe we’ve been doing that and the guys feel they’re on the cusp of something really special so I’m excited to see how we play in late January and early February.”
Thompson will complete the rest of their regular season on the road and face the Helena Huskies next on Wednesday, Jan 30 at 7:30 p.m followed by the finale Friday night at Pelham.