Tompkins rises to the occasion to tie district race

By Tyler Tyre, Sports Editor
Posted 2/3/22

“It was such a huge night,” Yakubu said. “If we lost this game then I don’t think we could have won district. Now we have another opportunity at it, we just have to show Texas who Tompkins is.”

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Tompkins rises to the occasion to tie district race

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Tompkins wanted revenge.

In their last matchup against Seven Lakes, the Falcons felt they didn’t compete and didn’t play the defense that has become so synonymous with the team.

Tompkins sat on that result for a month and was motivated by it, as the team worked every day, waiting for the chance to prove how good of a team they were.

That motivation paid off for the Falcons, as they held off a late run from Seven Lakes to beat the Spartans 50-45.

“Our defense last time we played them was awful,” said senior forward Jason Clark. “Our defense last time we played Seven Lakes was awful, it wasn’t very good at all. We were able to fix up the matachups, we were able to lock up and know what we had to do on defense. When we play like that, the offense just comes by itself.”

The Falcons fed off a crowd that was at max capacity and was louder than any Tompkins player had played in front of before. Behind the crowd and the motivation going into the game, Tompkins build a 17-11 lead after the first quarter.

“We lost to them by 15 last time, so it felt really good to get a comeback game,” said senior guard Carmelo Yakubu. “Even though we were down in the fourth quarter, even though we trailed four minutes into the game, we were locked in at all times. That’s how we got the win tonight.”

Tompkins knew that Seven Lakes would make runs, and the first of them came in the second quarter as the Spartans built a 21-17 lead heading into halftime. But that was something the Falcons were prepared for and they took back the lead in the third quarter as they scraped their way to a 32-31 lead heading into the fourth, with the crowd roaring the whole way.

“I told the the team before the game, people in other professions, they don’t get to experience things that get as hype as this,” said Tompkins head coach Bobby Sanders. “There’s nothing like it. The guys fed off that and it was really fun to have our students come out and do what they did tonight.”

Seven Lakes regained the lead in the fourth and led with two minutes remaining, but Tompkins, led by Yakubu down the stretch made the plays they needed to win the game.

“It’s what he does,” Sanders said. “He’s Draymond Green out there. He guards the other team’s best player, the handles the ball and he made huge free throws and layups for us down the stretch. He does anything and everything you could ask of him.”

Yakubu finished the game with 18 points, while Luke Coughran had 15 and Clark had 9.

“Luke was able to knock down some big shots in the second half,” Clark said. “He was off a little in the first half but I told him at halftime, you gotta keep shooting. He did and it paid off. He’s grown a lot, not just offensively but defensively as well. He played great defense today, it was amazing honestly. He was working and he did a great job on both end.”

The win ties Tompkins and Seven Lakes at the top of the District 19-6A standings with four district games remaining on the schedule for the regular season, meaning if both teams won out the rest of the way, they would be co-district champions.

“It was such a huge night,” Yakubu said. “If we lost this game then I don’t think we could have won district. Now we have another opportunity at it, we just have to show Texas who Tompkins is.”

District 19-6A

Tompkins 50, Seven Lakes 45

Points: (T)Carmelo Yakubu 18, Luke Coughran 15, Jason Clark 9, Sen DuBose 4, Nick Lancit 4; (SL) Tahaad Davis 19, AJ Bates 12, Josh Akpovwa 7, Grant Van Hoozer 3, Ethan Van Horn 3

Halftime: 21-17 Seven Lakes; 3-pointers: (T) Coughran 4, Clark 2, Yakubu; (SL) Bates 2, Davis, Van Horn; Records: Tompkins 22-8, 8-1 ,Seven Lakes 28-4, 7-1

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