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Posted On: 10/2/18 11:03 AM
The Thompson Tommies were one of the best teams in Class B last season, winning 18 regular season games. They fell victim to a brutal region though as Region 2 housed the eventual state champs in Hillsboro/Central Valley along with Grafton/St. Thomas. Of Thompson’s five losses, three came at the hands of the two teams in the state title game in Bishop Ryan and Hillsboro with the other two coming from Grafton. The Tommies return three starters and several other key bench guys though, so the 2018-19 season should be another good one.
Need to be Replaced: Tyler Hegg, Cole Sorby
Tyler Hegg was arguably Thompson’s best player and one of the top players in Class B. The 6-foot-4 forward averaged 17 points and nine rebounds and was one of the most consistent producers in the state. When Thompson needed a bucket, Hegg was as reliable as it got. His ability to get to the offensive glass was a big part of Thompson’s offensive success too. Cole Sorby averaged better than eight points per game and was solid in a complementary role.
Returning Starters: Cadyn Schwabe, Hayden Overby, Marcus Hughes
The Tommies return three starters and one of the best inside-outside duos in the state in Cadyn Schwabe and Hayden Overby. Schwabe is one of the best point guards in the state and has been a longtime productive player at the varsity level for the Tommies. He averaged 15.4 points and five assists last season and is a disruptive defender at the point. He’s a terrific finisher for a smaller guard and if he can improve on his 26 percent 3-point shooting, he’ll be an even bigger hassle to try to slow down. Overby averaged 13.5 points and nine boards and had a strong summer playing with North Dakota Attack. He could be a double-double guy this winter. Marcus Hughes also returns on the wing after averaging nine points per game a season ago to give the team a third potential double-figure scorer.
Stepping Into Bigger Roles: Nicholas Reck, Chance Danner, Pierce Cooper
The Tommies have several juniors who earned playing time a year ago as sophomores that will be line for heavier minutes this winter. Chance Danner played sparingly behind Hegg and Overby but brings some size and athleticism to the frontcourt. Pierce Cooper was a fringe bench guy last year and should see bigger minutes this year either as a starter or in the backcourt with Schwabe. Nicholas Reck was a rotation guy a year ago as a junior and will likely step into a starting role after averaging three points per game last season. Clay Odenbach and Jacob Dick could see bigger bench minutes as well.
Thompson’s been one of the top programs in Class B for a few years now and figures to be one of the better teams in the state again this winter. Schwabe gives them an elite point guard and Overby gives them a top-shelf forward. That’s a better start than most teams have. Hughes provides a third head in a dynamic scoring attack and if some of those juniors take reasonable steps forward, there’s no reason to think the Tommies can’t push for 18-20 wins again this upcoming season. They are in a gauntlet of a region with Hillsboro/Central Valley still likely the favorite but they were competitive with the Burrows last year so there shouldn’t be any pucker factor.