“It was such a huge win for us,” Adeleye said. “The past two years we’ve gone undefeated in district and won district and I was part of those teams. I want to be a district champion again, to have that feeling.”
Tompkins hadn’t forgotten how thigs went the last time they played Seven Lakes.
In the two teams first District 19-6A meeting, Seven Lakes came out in dominant fashion, scoring 74 points and beating the Falcons by 22 point.
That was flipped on its head Tuesday, as the Falcons went into the Spartans home court and came away 55-45 winners.
“We just keep growing, we’ve grown exponentially,” Macy Spancer said. “Not just me, but the whole team. We’ve been trying a lot harder in practice, which isn’t to say we weren’t trying hard before, but the energy has gone up since that loss. This game was really big to us, so we knew we had to step up.”
Step up the Falcons did. From the opening tip, Tompkins brought energy and a plan to beat Seven Lakes, and even in what turned into a back and forth content, it was good enough to come away with a victory as Tompkins took it to a different gear in the fourth quarter to pull away.
“We played to the gameplan,” said Tompkins head coach Tammy Ray. “We stuck with the gameplan. We didn’t do that the first time, but we were able to tonight.”
Much of this was due to the play of Spencer, who has grown by leaps and bounds in her junior season. In total, Spencer scored 26 points, but never forced anything, taking what the defense gave her and getting her teammates involved when she was focused in on by the Seven Lakes defense.
“They didn’t double team me at all at first so I kept attacking,” Spencer said. “Once we got into the second half they started doubling me and I knew I’d have someone open every time if they did that. I just kept looking, kept my eyes up and made the right reads.”
Spencer has continued to grow in her game even within the season. There was a stretch in the year where she was firing up too many three pointers and wasn’t getting in the paint or to the foul line enough. After an adjustment in her game, she’s now scored 20 or more in four straight games.
“Ever since then, she’s taken off,” Ray said. “She’s starting to understand, okay, they’re giving me this then I’ll take it. It’s a testament to her because she’s allowing us to coach her and she just continues to get better.”
Tompkins trailed at halftime, but only allowed four points in the third quarter as they continued to pull away in the second half.
The Falcons made a concerted effort to slow down Justice Carlton, who scored 38 in the team’s last meeting and they held her to just 13 points and five points in the second half.
“From the start, we knew the gameplan was to not let Justice touch the ball,” said Tompkins junior Fiyinfoluwa Adeleye, who was tasked with guarding Carlton for a large majority of the game. “Their offense runs through her so we knew if we stopped what she wanted to do offensively that it would all come together. We knew as a team that we had to make sure we knew where 30 was at all times, and it worked perfectly.”
Adeleye also chipped in with eight points while freshman Rihanna DeLeon added nine points on three three pointers.
The win makes things even in the race for the district title, as both Seven Lakes and Tompkins have suffered two district losses. With one game to go in the district schedule for Tompkins and two for Seven Lakes it looks as if the teams will be heading towards needing a tiebreaker to determine the top seed for playoffs.
“It was such a huge win for us,” Adeleye said. “The past two years we’ve gone undefeated in district and won district and I was part of those teams. I want to be a district champion again, to have that feeling. We all want that feeling and it was huge to go out and get the win.”
Tompkins 55, Seven Lakes 45
Points: (T) Macy Spencer 26, Rihanna DeLeon 9, Fiyinfoluwa Adeleye 8, Brooklynn Nash 6, Gabby Panter 4, Kennedy Bourque 2; (SL) Justice Carlton 13, Caitlyn Quintero 9, Summer Halphen 9, Cailyn Tucker 8, Alex Kainer 6
Halftime: Seven Lakes 30-28; 3-pointers: (T) DeLeon 3, Spencer; (SL) Quintero 2, Tucker 2, Kainer 2, Halphen; Records: Tompkins 30-3, 8-2; (SL) 28-6, 8-2
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