Frustrating Evening For Thompson

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. --- The Torrance players learned a valuable lesson Saturday that they won't soon forget: if they don't get the ball to their star player, they won't be able to win the big games.

Deon Thompson's limited touches in the final three quarters Saturday night doomed Torrance in the title game of the Ocean View Tournament of Champions and led to a 65-49 loss to Centennial (which was ranked in the USA Today National Top 25 last week).

Torrance did start the matchup with the right plan of attack, feeding the agile 6-8, 250-pounder, as he scored 10 points (4-7 FG, 2-3 FT) in the first quarter alone and his team trailed by just three points.

But after that, they strayed from what was working and the Centennial lead climbed to double digits, where it remained for the rest of the night.

"We weren't getting the ball to Deon," said Torrance head coach George Tachibana. "In the second half, we just did a poor job of getting him the ball. And when you try to make him your primary guy on the offense and he's not getting touches, that's a problem."

In fact, Thompson only attempted three field goals in the last three quarters. He rarely touched the ball, and when he did, multiple defenders collapsed down on him, knowing the Torrance perimeter shooters weren't posing much of a threat.

"If we're not shooting and he's not touching the ball, there's something wrong," Tachibana said.

Thompson totaled 14 points (5-10 FG, 4-6 FT) and seven rebounds on the evening. His points mostly came from post up moves, where several times he was able to showcase his quick spin in the paint and soft touch to finish.

And when the final buzzer sounded, Thompson didn't point fingers, but wore his disappointment on his face. He dejectedly received his All-Tournament honor and quickly headed for the exit door at the first opportunity.

"He was frustrated," Tachibana said. "He's a competitor and he's frustrated if he doesn't get an opportunity to carry this team. He wasn't given that opportunity because we didn't get him the ball."

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