ALMA - When it became crunch time at the Class 5A state basketball tournament on Thursday night, Forrest City knew right where to get the ball on Thursday night.
That was in the hands of Arkansas signee Trey Thompson (6-10, 250), who scored 15 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and overtime and also had 15 rebounds and 4 blocked shots as his team downed host Alma 68-65.
Thompson was 12 of 16 of the field, including making his 8 shots, and did all his damage despite a bad hamstring.
"We just pounded it inside to him often," Forrest City head coach Dwight Lofton said. "He messed up his hamstring last week. He was about 75 percent, but the kid wanted to make plays for us."
Thompson is averaging 20 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks per game this season for the Mustangs (21-3).
He knew there was no tomorrow if the Mustangs lost, but his effort helped push them into a Monday quarterfinal round game against the winner of Friday night's Watson Chapel-Little Rock McClellan game.
"We had to gut it out and a lot of players made big plays," Thompson said. "…I knew I had a mismatch and I knew I had to will us to a win and we did that. We came out victorious."
Lofton loved the heart his senior big man showed down the stretch.
"Tremendous leadership and he's done everything that I've asked him to do," Lofton said. "He has scored it well. Today at the end, it was ‘give me the ball.' That wasn't Trey two years ago. Trey was content being a Robin. Now he wants to be Batman and that is the major change."
The fact that the Razorbacks (21-9, 10-7) have won six straight and 8 of 9 doesn't hurt either.
"He played like a senior and the way that the Razorbacks are playing now motivates him because he is about to go into a big-time era of Razorback basketball," Lofton said. "He wants to be a part of that and he is a big-time player."
Thompson admits he is thrilled with his college team's recent success.
"I am very excited about them," Thompson said. "I have been watching them and following them and if I can't watch the game on TV, I follow it on twitter and play-by-play. I am ready to get up there."
Lofton believes that Thompson – an excellent passer with a great basketball IQ – will fit in nicely at Arkansas.
"Can you imagine when you have him around some shooters?" Lofton asked. "You have got a big guy that automatically knows to look to the backside, who automatically is looking for cutters and stuff like that. Dude, he is going to be deadly."
Thompson Takes Over
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