“It was a great job by the players and I’m just proud of all of them,” said Tompkins head coach Tamatha Ray. “I would have never have guessed that we would beat that Cinco team by 20 points. I’m just proud of the way they responded."
It would have been easy for Tompkins to have a letdown on Friday night.
The Falcons came off a hard fought game on Tuesday and had were up against another big challenger in the Cougars that had been strong all season and had everything to play for as they were trying to get back into a tie for second place in District 19-6A with a win.
But the Falcons didn’t just avoid a letdown, they did the exact opposite, putting together a strong gameplan on both sides of the floor and topping Cinco Ranch 61-40 in what was a dominant defensive performance where the Falcons offense also got back on track.
“It was a great job by the players and I’m just proud of all of them,” said Tompkins head coach Tamatha Ray. “I would have never have guessed that we would beat that Cinco team by 20 points. I’m just proud of the way they responded, they weren’t happy after losing to Katy and these are high school kids, you never know which way things will go in that moment. They picked themselves back up and came out and played a heck of a game.”
The Falcons had their defense going from the start and made things difficult for the Cougars with a strong zone that didn’t allow any of Cinco Ranch’s guards space to create shot opportunities.
Things remained tight through the first quarter before the Tompkins offense started getting into it in the second, as they grew things from a three-point lead to a 22-15 lead at halftime.
“We had a plan coming in,” said sophomore guard Rihanna DeLeon. “We knew we couldn’t let Aniya (Foy) get to her spots on the floor and we knew we couldn’t let Danielle (Williams) have space to shoot. We just followed the gameplan and we played well, boxed out and got rebounds.”
The Falcons opened up their lead in the third quarter behind a huge effort from DeLeon, as she made two of her six three pointers in the quarter and had seven points, completely opening up the Cinco Ranch defense and opening up space for her teammates as well who were able to take advantage.
“She’s just critical for us and when she’s making that 3-pointer it opens up so much of the floor for us,” Ray said. “The defense starts flying around and it opens up the inside and passing lanes, that shot starts a lot of things for us.”
The Falcons opened up a 14 points lead after the third quarter and only grew it the rest of the way, DeLeon led the Falcons with 20 points, while Macy Spencer had 16 points and Fiyn Adeleye had 12 points.
But the unsung hero of the Falcons was Gabby Panter, who took pressure off of Spencer by being the secondary ball-handler, played great defense, rebounded and did every small thing that the Falcons needed, just as she has done all season.
“She’s just so important, she hardly ever comes off the floor and she by our metrics leads the team in her value while she’s on the court compared to when she’s off,” Ray said. “She doesn’t fill up the stat sheet with points but she does everything so well and does so much for us. If we don’t have her this team isn’t nearly as successful as it is, it’s the same thing with Fiyin and Tanya, those three are such a huge piece to this team.”
The Falcons sit two games back of the district lead and know that they still have work to do the rest of the way in a tough district, but they have also seen the growth of this team and know they can keep getting better.”
“We have high expectations and we just have to keep working and improving to meet those,” Spencer said. “We have a lot of different players that have stepped up this year and we just have to keep working, keep getting better and not let our foot off the gas.”
Tompkins 61, Cinco Ranch 40
Points: (T) Rihanna DeLeon 20, Macy Spencer 16, Fiyin Adeleye 12, Bella Riggan, 7, Gabby Panter 4, Tanya Philip 2; (CR) Sophie Baran 12, Aniya Foy 10, Camille Torrence 6, Maddy Lee 4, Danielle Williams 3, Kinsley Harding 2;
Halftime: Tompkins 22-15, 3-Pointers: (T) DeLeon 6, Spencer 2, Riggan; (CR) Foy, Williams; Records: Tompkins: 21-6, 8-2; Cinco Ranch: 20-8, 6-4
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