“Any hesitancy we had about how this season would go was done as soon as we had our first practices and scrimmages,” said Tompkins senior point guard Gabby Panter. “You could feel the chemistry between everyone and every single person in the building works hard and brings it every day."
Every year Tompkins enters the season with the same goal.
It’s the same expectations year in and year out for the successful program and this year was no different. Find a way to win the district title.
Going into last year the Falcons had clinched a share of the title three straight times years, but they came up just short last season. All that did though, was make this year’s group want it more.
The Falcons came into this year with those expectations but trying to figure out who they were with a number of players stepping into bigger roles. But Tompkins found their identity, the players found their chemistry and ultimately, they achieved their goal, as Tompkins clinched a share of the District 19-6A title on Tuesday with a 63-36 win over Paetow, finishing tied for the top record in Katy ISD with Seven Lakes.
“Any hesitancy we had about how this season would go was done as soon as we had our first practices and scrimmages,” said Tompkins senior point guard Gabby Panter. “You could feel the chemistry between everyone and every single person in the building works hard and brings it every day. But then when we get out there we all play off each other, we find the best shot and it’s so unselfish. You could tell right away it was a special team.”
The Falcons did it with a very young team and a tam that had a lot of turnover from last year. But every player stepped up, the seniors led by example and always put the right foot forward and Tompkins continued to improve all year. Tompkins head coach has Tamatha Ray has given all of the credit to the players and continued to do so on Tuesday, saying that the team fostered the right culture and worked hard every single practice along with being coachable and teachable.
“This is one of my favorite teams I’ve coached,” Ray said. “That’s the reward is I get to coach these girls. We saw what they could be as a coaching staff but you can’t know if that will come to fruition. It took a while for them to establish their identity. We knew coming in we can play fast and we have shooters and once they figured that out on the court they just ran with it. But that’s the reward for us is that these kids executed the plan from the jump.”
Tompkins used that fast pace and constant pressure to give Paetow problems all night. The Panthers could never settle into a rhythm as the Falcons grew their lead from 11-3 after the first quarter to 30-15 at half and 48-27 at the end of the third quarter. Tompkins always seemed to find the open player as well, making extra passes and making sure the right person got the ball in the right situation.
“It’s so fun, everyone in this group is equally excited for each other and there’s no selfishness,” said senior post Caitlyn D’Addieco. “Everyone is excited anytime anyone does well and we all want each other to do something and see everyone excel in their role. When you see that happening it’s just really exciting.”
The Falcons aren’t satisfied with just making it this far though. They’re excited for the bi-district round and no matter who they play, they are going to come out ready to fight for every inch.
“We all wanted this so badly,” Panter said. “I know for me and Caitlyn, we wanted and needed a piece of this title for our senior year. It’s what we’ve been working for this whole time. We're ready for playoffs.”
Tompkins 63, Paetow 36
Points: (T) Rihanna DeLeon 18, Gabby Panter 12, Sascha Coughran 12, Kate Hopkins 12, Caitlyn D’Addieco 6, Haylie Panter 2, Bella Riggan 1; (P) Lauren Johnson 8, Kelis Milam 8, Naddilee French 7, Tiera Hall 4, Sam Neitsch 4, Rihanna Fulshear 2;
Halftime: Tompkins 30-15; 3-Pointers: (T) Coughran 2, DeLeon; (P) Milam 2, Johnson 2, French; Records: (T) 29-6, 14-2; (P) 10-18, 5-11;