“When we tipped off in November, I had no idea what this team would become,” Ray said. “We had four back, one starter and eight new ones. You couldn’t have told me, couldn’t have predicted it, I would have never believed it. I’m just so proud of them.”
Tompkins confidence never faltered.
Whether it was a slow start, a deficit in the fourth quarter or struggles on offense or defense, the Falcons found a way to overcome adversity all year and all playoffs.
Tompkins showed that same confidence and fight they’ve shown all season on Tuesday, but it wasn’t enough in the regional quarterfinals, as Tompkins fell 64-59 to Fort Bend Dulles in an overtime matchup that was tight until the very end.
“They continued to fight,” said Tompkins head coach Tammy Ray. “They have grits and guts, but it just didn’t go our way tonight. Hats off to Dulles because they kept fighting, and we just couldn’t get that string of stops and we couldn’t get a string of scores. It shows up, that’s playoff basketball.”
Dulles and Tompkins battled from the opening tip and Dulles took a lead after the first quarter 14-13. The Falcons tried to battle back in the second but Dulles answered every basket with a score of their own, and Tompkins trailed by two at the half.
Tompkins continued to fight and even after trailing by as many as seven points in the fourth quarter, found a way to battle back, going on a 9-0 run to take the lead with three minutes remaining in the game.
“There was just such a chemistry with everyone on the team,” said junior guard Macy Spencer. “There was just such a great chemistry between everyone here and we all wanted to fight and wanted to win. We were always pushing each other.”
Tompkins and Dulles continued to go back and forth and with 15 seconds left in regulation, Brooklynn Nash put the Falcons up by two with a layup. But Dulles answered right back with a bucket at the buzzer to send Tompkins to its third straight playoff overtime game.
Tompkins couldn’t keep up in the overtime period and Dulles was able to pull away for the victory.
Tompkins will graduate two players in Brooklynn Nash and Kennedy Bourque from a team that broke the Falcons single season win record and finished 35-4.
“We had a lot of doubters, but we overcame and pushed past what everyone thought we were going to be,” Spencer said. All in all we had an amazing season and I just thank everybody for that. The seniors were a big part of that.”
It was a surprise season for some, as Tompkins had eight newcomers on the team yet managed to come one step away from making it to the regional tournament.
“When we tipped off in November, I had no idea what this team would become,” Ray said. “I had no idea. We had four people back, one starter back and eight new ones. I had no idea this was going to be the story, you couldn’t have told me, couldn’t have predicted it, I would have never believed it. I’m just so proud of them.”
Tompkins will return 10 varsity players next season and while the loss is still fresh in the minds of everyone, Ray knows that the postseason experience will be a help for the returners and make them all stronger.
“Losing stinks, if you don’t like how this feels, then it needs to be rattling around in your brain when we go through postseason. You come back hungry and that’s part of the life lessons you get through athletics and it’s a lesson that you can’t win them all. You’re going to experience loss and it’s about how you regroup, face that adversity and go back and fight again. I can only imagine what next year will look like with all of them coming back and adding some JV kids too.”
Class 6A Regional Quarterfinals
Fort Bend Dulles 64, Tompkins 59
Points: (T) Macy Spencer 31, Brooklynn Nash 7, Gabby Panter 6, Rihanna De’Leon 5, Bella Riggan 4, Emma Potts 4, Kennedy Bourque 2; (D) Peyton Overton 29, Nya Threatt 17, Alia Diop 10, Kakiya Thompson 3, Dai Dai Powell 3, Taylor Gerard 2
Halftime: Dulles 25-23; 3-pointers: (T) Spencer 2, De’Leon; (D) Overton 4, Thompson; Records: Tompkins 35-4; Dulles 26-6
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