When you’re the tallest player on the team, it’s hard for others to not look to you for cues on the court.
On the Mansfield Timberview girls basketball squad, Lauryn Thompson, the junior center, is relishing the opportunity to be the vocal leader and the self-described “hype-man.”
It doesn’t hurt her cause that Thompson, at almost 6-1, is also a three-year starter and returning first team all-district selection.
Thompson is averaging about 12 points per game, up from last year’s nine per game.
“I’m doing better this year,” Thompson said. “I grew as a player and I’m working hard, and I’m focused for my junior year. I’ve improved on finishing and being active the whole 32 minutes, even if I’m on the bench.”
Some of the improvement has come from Thompson’s select team play with the Lady Jets White, coached by Jason Terry, the former Dallas Maverick.
What has come along with the advanced skills is being a more vocal leader. Hence, the “hype-man” tag for being the rallying and stabilizing force for the Lady Wolves.
“It comes easy for me,” she said of being a confident, vocal leader. “I’ve always been a leader but I’ve become more respected.”
Her vocal support has gone more from the cheerleader to helping guide players to locations on the floor.
Thompson said the vocal aspect of her game also comes from her own interaction during practices with the coaching staff.
“I ask a lot of questions,” Thompson said.
Other than making certain she has a full understanding of the concepts, Thompson said her focus this year is to building on her consistency.
That consistency is hoped to improve Thompson’s scoring and rebounding, another strong suit for the center.
Taylah Thomas joins Thompson as key rebounders for the Lady Wolves.
Looking forward, Thompson said she’s shooting to be another all-district selection as well as rank high enough to be tabbed by the TABC all-state team. She also wants to average a double-double for the season.
The key goal, though, is to win a state title, Thompson said.
“I feel like we’re better than last year and we should have won state,” Thompson said, as Timberview dropped its only game in the playoffs just prior to the state tournament.
Now, Thompson said, the team knows adversity, having lost its only game to date this season to Duncanville after getting a win over the Pantherettes in the same tournament where it suffered the loss in the finals.
“Adversity is what we lacked last year. It came too easy for us,” she said. “It wasn’t that we were too big-headed. We just forgot people are coming to beat us every night. We take it a little more personal. We’re still a confident team.”