Her team was leading a talented cross-town opponent at the half. Arlington Lamar point guard Destiny Thurman knew she was going to have to pick up her scoring in the second half to make that advantage hold up.
And that’s exactly what she did. Thurman poured in 16 of her game-high 21 points in the second half as the Lady Vikings earned a mid-November non-district win at perennial Class 5A power Seguin.
Thurman, who has been on varsity since she was a freshman, has helped Lamar advance further in the playoffs every season.
Given that the Lady Vikings were only one win away from reaching the state tournament her junior season, this trend bodes well for the current campaign.
Still, getting there won’t be easy, especially for Thurman. The first team all-district selection averaged more than 15 points per game a season ago.
But she had then-senior Ariel Williams to balance the scoring load. As in the Seguin game, Thurman is going to have to do more to get Lamar where they want to go.
And that’s fine with her.
“I’m going to be a big part. I have to score more, play good defense and just be a good leader on and off the court,” Thurman said.
Lamar coach Errin Levels sets goals for each of her players — for a quarter and for a game. Although her standards for Thurman are extremely high, Levels knows Thurman can consistently play to those expectations.
I’m just trying to soak it in and enjoy it the most I can for the rest of the season.
Lamar coach Errin Levels on Destiny Thurman’s senior year
“I just told her that if she does her part, we’ll step up and try to do a little bit more,” Levels said. “And so everybody has point goals individually and all my guards have goals. When we meet our goals, we win.”
Levels didn’t say what point goals she had for Thurman in the third and fourth quarter of the recent win against Seguin. But whatever it was, Thurman reached it.
She drew fouls and made several shots over defenders in the third quarter. Her eight-point outburst turned a brief tie into a comfortable Lamar lead.
And Thurman maintained her hot shooting in the fourth, adding another eight points as the Lady Vikings prevented Seguin from staging a rally.
“I know in the first half I couldn’t really make any of my shots,” Thurman said. “But I didn’t want to stop shooting. I wasn’t getting the calls in the first half. So I kept being aggressive, kept shooting. I started getting the calls and my shots started to fall.”
Even when her shots aren’t falling, Thurman knows she can’t let frustration slow her down. Her teammates feed off her confidence.
“I was encouraging them to keep it up because our coach tells us to play all four quarters,” Thurman said. “We just had to keep playing. It was going to be a hard win either way.”
Levels plans to enjoy winning more of those hard-fought games with Thurman while the senior’s journey lasts.
“I’m just trying to soak it in and enjoy it the most I can for the rest of the season,” Levels said. “She’s a really special, hard-working kid.”