“The best thing about him is how composed he is and it just is great for the rest of our guys,” Sanders said. “He’ll miss five in a row and it will look like he’s just made five. He never loses confidence in himself and that confidence goes through the whole team.
Luke Coughran has been setting Tompkins records all season.
From scoring to three-pointers, the junior has continued to set top marks for the Falcons, breaking records both for single game and career marks throughout the year.
And Coughran has been doing all of this while leading the Falcons to wins, carrying a team that lost ten seniors and most of its production from last season into a playoff spot and competing against the top teams in District 19-6A.
“He’s not only one of the best shooters but one of the best scorers I’ve ever been around,” said Tompkins head coach Bobby Sanders. “It doesn’t matter if we’re down 20, we can come back at any time because he’s on the floor and he’s a guy that can hit five three’s in a quarter, and that is something he’s done multiple times this year. And it’s not just him. Guys know to get it to him and they’re unselfish about it, and he’s so good off the ball with his movement that it makes him hard to guard. It’s just great to have a shooter like that.”
Coughran has twice scored 42 points this season, a Tompkins school record, including on Jan 18 against the leader of the pack in the district, Seven Lakes. Along with that, he has set the Tompkins single game record with 12 3-pointers in a game earlier this year and has already broken the single season record for 3-pointers, with over 120 on the season and has surpasses 1,000 points for his career.
Tompkins has needed it and Coughran has delivered by stepping up into that starring role after playing a secondary role the previous two years on varsity with a talented group of seniors to learn from. But now as just a junior, Coughran is the one who is in that leadership role as everyone around him has adjusted.
“It hasn’t been hard for me at all because I got to see that leadership on varsity as a freshman and sophomore,” Coughran said. “It’s all about encouraging your teammates and that’s what I’m trying to do. I just try to pick them up help them play to their best and trusting them to make the right plays. You can really see it paying off and were playing at a high level right now.”
But Coughran is more than a shooter. The junior routinely gets his points by driving and getting to the line as well. And his offensive prowess opens things up for the entire rest of the team, they feed off of him and get easy looks because of the gravity that Coughran forces out of every teams defense.
“It just makes everything so much easier for all of us,” said sophomore guard Scottie Guillory. “If we run our offense and set screens right we know he’s gonna get a look and it’s going to go in. That forces teams to overcommit to him and we get open shots of that. We’re always practicing and feeding off that, we want to get everyone involved and shoot open three’s and it all comes from that kind of stuff.”
That has led to the Falcons climbing back into the playoff race and it has everything to do with Coughran’s play and the team reaching a new level. They feed off him and the Falcons are surging at the right time.
“The best thing about him is how composed he is and it just is great for the rest of our guys,” Sanders said. “He’ll miss five in a row and it will look like he’s just made five. He never loses confidence in himself and that confidence goes through the whole team. We know we can always count on him and were building in the right direction.”