Nash steps up to lead Tompkins to area round
KATY—Tompkins’ girls basketball team proved Tuesday night it is more than a one-girl show.
As talented and gifted as junior guard Macy Spencer is, George Ranch did a good job limiting Spencer’s opportunities in their Class 6A Region III bi-district playoff game. So, senior guard Brooklynn Nash took matters into her own hands late, scoring six of her 17 points in overtime to lead the Falcons to a dramatic 52-47 win over the Longhorns at the Merrell Center.
“Honestly, everything that was running through my mind was that this could be my last game,” Nash said. “So, I knew I had to score. I knew I had to step up.“
Spencer was still strong with a game-high 21 points—it speaks to her considerable skill than an “off game“ is a 21-point showing—but she never got into a consistent rhythm as George Ranch’s defensive focus was making everything tough for her. “Hard-guarding” her, as Spencer puts it. Spencer was unable to string together consecutive buckets in a row that typically serve as back-breakers for opponents. Clean looks at the basket were few and far between.
It almost looked like the Longhorns’ tandem of senior guard Savannah Velazquez (15 points) and junior forward Lauren Stephens (11 points, 10 rebounds) would be enough to outlast the Falcons. But Tompkins got timely plays from junior post Emma Potts and junior guard Kayla Boven.
Boven was particularly instrumental in the fourth quarter with four points and three steals.
Kayla Boven tough to the basket. She\u2019s made a lot of big plays at timely moments tonight. #txhshoops @OTHSABClub @TompkinsGBB @TompkinsHSpic.twitter.com/JIb19zZje1— Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II) 1644979632
“She’s huge,” coach Tamatha Ray said. “I can’t say enough about her and the fact she’s a varsity basketball player and a varsity soccer player. (Tompkins girls soccer coach) Jarrett Shipman and I, we get our calendars out and we schedule it out and see. She had her backpack ready to go to play soccer tonight, and you can tell she has tremendous athleticism. Her feet are awesome, she’s a great defender, she understands spacing. She just gets it.”
Spencer scored eight points in the fourth quarter and Tompkins looked ready to put away George Ranch for good early in the period. But Velazquez hit a huge 3 to put the Longhorns up 42-39. Nash hit a floater in the lane. Boven got a steal and converted the ensuing layup for a 43-42 Tompkins lead.
George Ranch’s Rachel Okoye made one of two free throws to eventually send it into overtime.
In the extra session, Nash hit another big bucket, and Spencer threw in a clutch and-one, finishing through contact and putting in a soft lay-in off the glass, to put the Falcons up for good, 48-45.
.@macyKS13 and-1. Tompkins up 48-45 in OT. #txhshoops @TompkinsGBB @OTHSABClubpic.twitter.com/2dBxrLSkQL— Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II) 1644980726
“We’re all fighters,” Spencer said. “We knew what we had to do. Everybody did their job and what they were supposed to do. We wanted this for our seniors, Brooklynn and Kennedy (Bourque). We wanted this for them.”
Tompkins knows what it must do when a team takes Spencer out of sorts. The Falcons are prepared for it.
On Tuesday, Nash seized the opportunity.
.@BrooklynnNash2 3-ball puts @TompkinsGBB ahead 29-27. #txhshoops @OTHSABClub @TompkinsHS @TXHSGBBpic.twitter.com/wfYv7B1EXY— Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II) 1644978766
“She realizes when Macy’s being shut down that she has to step up,” Ray said. “We couldn’t get into sync tonight. They were taking Macy out, so by default, it means things go through Brooklynn. And that’s not a problem for us. She can handle the ball, and after playing 37 games, the girls know if Macy’s being taken out, the next one has to step up.”
Nash credited her success to the game-plan of driving the ball to the middle.
“I just found the holes,” she said.
And now the 34-3 Falcons are on to the area round against Stratford.
“We really wanted it, and we didn’t want this to be our last game,” Nash said. “We wanted to keep pushing. We just want to see how far we can go.”
The Tompkins Falcons are Class 6A Region III bi-district champions.Dennis Silva II | VYPE Media