Those 36 points included 15-of-19 shooting from the field and a pair of 3-pointers. He also pulled down 18 rebounds, dished out four assists and had four steals.
It was the Orioles’ first loss in the West Michigan Conference-Lakes Division after nine straight wins, and lifted Whitehall into a tie with Ludington for the top spot.
Whitehall has three conference games remaining, and the Orioles just two.
“They’re a really good team, very well coached with really good players,” Whitehall coach Christian Subdon said. “We were down 15 at one point and could have packed it in, but the guys just refused to give up, and refused to give in. I’ve got a special group, and I’m just super proud of them.”
And that group is led by Thompson.
“I don’t know, I just feel like I have a good eye where the ball is going to go,” Thompson said of his rebounding ability. “I just get there quicker than most people to get that ball and get second-chance points. This whole summer I worked on my outside shot. My mid-range is the key to my game. That’s where I usually get most of my points.”
After getting down by 15, Subdon asked the players if they still wanted to play with the Orioles or if they were ready to quit.
“We all just looked at him and said that we weren’t done,” said Thompson.
Kyle Stratton contributed 18 points, shooting 6-of-11 from the field with three 3-pointers, with eight assists. DJ Jamison added eight points, three assists and two steals.
Jack Houtteman distributed four assists and had three steals to go with six points. Trannon Aylor hauled down seven rebounds, had four assists and scored six points. Kal Koehler also scored six points.
“Whitehall was great in transition all night and generated an abundance of points from running past our pressure,” said Ludington coach Thad Shank. “I give them a lot of credit. They did a lot of good things tonight. Thompson is a really tough matchup for us. He can take our big kid, Matthew Westhouse, out on the perimeter and can post up any other matchup we have for him. He’s really a hard guy to handle in the middle on defense as well. He’s a very nice player.”
Ludington started the game with a 26-18 lead after the first quarter and led by 15 in the second quarter.
But the Vikings came storming back, with Thompson coming up huge with 18 points as Whitehall outscored the Orioles, 22-17 and shaved the margin to just three, 43-40, at the half.
The Vikings made their big move in the third quarter and took the lead in the early moments of the second half and surged into a 61-58 lead going into the fourth quarter. Whitehall outscored Ludington, 27-19, in the fourth period.
David Shillinger scored 27 points for the Orioles, Westhouse finished with 18 and Levi Laman 13.
Whitehall (14-5, 9-1 WMC-Lakes) is off now until it hosts Oakridge next Thursday in the first of its remaining three conference games to close the regular season.