Spencer, Tompkins top Seven Lakes to knot up 1st in 19-6A
KATY—It’s not often that Tompkins’ girls basketball players don’t adhere to coach Tamatha Ray’s game-plan. But a lack of focus recently led to a pair of district losses and forced the defending back-to-back 19-6A champs to regroup.
That, they did. The Falcons rediscovered themselves in a big way Tuesday evening in a district showdown between two state-ranked teams. Tompkins avenged its first-round loss to Seven Lakes by conquering the Spartans the second time around, 55-45, at Seven Lakes High.
“We needed this,” junior forward Fiyin Adeleye said. “We all came together to hustle and do the little things and get back into the race for first place.”
The win improved No. 19 Tompkins to 30-3 overall, 8-2 in district. No. 17 Seven Lakes fell to 28-6, 8-2.
The two are tied for first place with two games remaining in district play.
“It was a big one,” said junior guard Macy Spencer, who had a dominant showing with a game-high 26 points, seven rebounds, six steals, and five assists. “We’d been looking forward to playing them again. We prepared for them, a lot. A lot. Going up against the guys at our school. Defending better. Obviously, it all worked really well tonight.”
.@macyKS13 has been big-time tonight. Seven Lakes has had no answer for her. #txhshoops @TompkinsGBB @OTHSABClubpic.twitter.com/dkCvNdeEsZ— Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II) 1643766927
Defensively, the Falcons, who outscored the Spartans 13-4 in the third quarter to turn a two-point halftime deficit into a seven-point advantage, were stellar.
After Seven Lakes’ sophomore sensation Justice Carlton torched Tompkins for 38 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in a 72-52 Seven Lakes win on Jan. 7, a contingent of physical, long Falcons forwards led by Adeleye, Kennedy Bourque, Emma Potts, and Tanya Philip helped hold Carlton to 13 points and four rebounds on Tuesday.
“We always knew where 30 (Carlton) was on the court,” Adeleye said. “Always had two people on her, two people touching her. We installed all that the last game even (against Morton Ranch), always having two people around her at all times.”
Carlton got off to a great start in the first meeting, scoring 19 points in the first quarter. On Tuesday, she scored just two points in the first quarter, facing a constant spray of aggressive double teams and traps.
“We played to the game-plan,” Ray said. “I don’t know why we didn’t do it the first time. We kept an eye on No. 30. That was the objective. They have great shooters, too, so it was a balance. We had to get in (defensively) and we had to get out.
“Seven Lakes is a great basketball team. They’ve got all the pieces. We’re just happy to get out of here with a win.”
With the defense shutting things down, forcing 14 turnovers and limiting Seven Lakes to just seven free throw attempts, Spencer took over.
The versatile guard was spectacular from the opening tip, scoring eight points in the first quarter and finishing with 16 points with six rebounds in the first half. The Spartans had no answer. Spencer got to the basket whenever she wished and showed off nuanced offensive skill that left the Spartans befuddled.
.@macyKS13 has 8 points and 5 rebounds early for @TompkinsGBB. #txhshoops @OTHSABClubpic.twitter.com/BjSCyGHMWT— Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II) 1643764135
A sharp shooter, Spencer only attempted two 3s, making one, and did most of her damage at the midrange area or around the rim.
“There were three or four games (earlier this season) where her shot selection was really poor, and she was thinking she had to do it all,” Ray said. “We had to show her, like, hey, you don’t have to do it all, and if you are going to take these shots, then here’s your sweet spot. We did one-on-one film study, and she lets me coach her. She lets me take her aside and show her pieces where she can improve as an individual player, which is going to improve her team.
“It’s a testament to her and letting us coach her.”
After Tompkins’ 65-53 loss to Cinco Ranch on Jan. 18, Ray and Spencer studied film to discuss her shot selection and spotlight certain areas of the court. Make an effort to score 1s, 2s and 3s, Ray said. Free throws, 2-pointers, and 3-pointers.
Spencer adjusted, making more of an effort to score at all three levels since and not relying so much on 3s. Being more of the multi-faceted scoring talent that she is.
“I forced a lot of shots that game, nothing was falling for me,” Spencer said. “I was off. I didn’t drive at all. I barely had any free throws. Since then, I’ve been trying to drive more, draw more fouls. Coach has really helped me improve my game.”
It’s a sign of Spencer’s maturity and growth as a player. Spencer said her energy and leadership are her biggest improvements this season.
“Macy plays the same every single game,” Adeleye said. “She comes out hard, comes out fast. Her IQ is so much higher than last year. She’s really fulfilled her leadership role well.”
Freshman Rihanna De’leon added nine points off the bench for the Falcons with three rebounds, going 3-for-4 from deep. Adeleye added eight points and four rebounds. Senior guard Brooklynn Nash added six points.
Freshman Rihanna De\u2019leon has been big off the bench for @TompkinsGBB. 3-3 from 3 with three rebounds. #txhshoops @OTHSABClubpic.twitter.com/KDW3Ig5sYr— Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II) 1643766262
Once thought to be on the outside looking in, Tompkins has fought its way back to the top.
“Coming together as a team is what we really needed to focus on,” Spencer said, “and we did that.”