Young Tompkins team finding groove late in district play

By Tyler Tyre, Sports Editor
Posted 1/30/22

“The team has really helped me a lot,” Spencer said. “It’s not just me at all. The whole team pushes me to do my best and I push all of them as well. It’s really them that has gotten me to this point.”

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Young Tompkins team finding groove late in district play

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Tammy Ray’s team has had to do a lot of growing this season.

With eight newcomers and just two seniors on the team the group has had to make huge strides over the course of the year, and it took the team time to hit its stride.

“We have a young time, there’s eight new ones and they’ve had to learn a lot that we threw at them,” Ray said. “They’ve really had to learn how to follow the gameplan and take coaching but they’re coming along.”

Those early season struggles didn’t show up on the scoreboard in the preseason, as Tompkins did extremely well before district play, but the team had it’s growing pains and had to earn how to win at the varsity level.

“I don’t know if they believed at the beginning of the year that we were going to be as good as we are,” Ray said. “But they chipped away at that early season schedule. The North Shore win was a big one for us and then when we played them again in a tournament, we repeated it. As we just continued to play basketball, they just continued to get more confident and you could see them think ‘we can do this.’ I think it was more of a learning thing and then understanding the work that goes into it.”

The Falcons have found their groove in large part to the leadership of the few returning varisty players, including Brooklynn Nash, who sat and learned behind current Tarleton State player Crystal Smith last year.

“I really looked up to Crystal and I just tried to learn everything I could behind her,” Nash said. “I’ve tried to take pages from her book. I’m being more vocal and I’m trying to make sure that everyone knows what they need to. I really want to teach my teammates what I know on my way out.”

Tompkins has benefited from her leadership and others and the team has hit its next gear in the second half of District 19-6A play.

“The younger ones have really started to adapt to the energy of the older girls,” Nash said. “The returners tried to set the energy and they’ve really fed off that and came up with us and hit a new level instead of us having to be the ones who bring that energy for them. It’s really all just come together.”

Another reason for the team success has been the play of junior guard Macy Spencer, who has scored 20 or more in each of the teams past three games. Her scoring has unlocked many elements of the offense.

“The team has really helped me a lot,” Spencer said. “It’s not just me at all. The whole team pushes me to do my best and I push all of them as well. It’s really them that has gotten me to this point.”

Tompkins knows there will be everything to play for in the district down the stretch and hopes their level of play can help them reach a district championship and a deep playoff run.

“Our energy is the biggest thing for us,” Nash said. “When we’ve had good energy and come out right, we win. We have to stay as a team and be all together in everything we do. IF we do that the rest will take care of itself.”

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