Terrance Thompson pulled down his 14th rebound as time expired, dribbled it a couple of times and tossed it away to go celebrate another victory with his teammates on the Central High School boys basketball team.
The 6-foot-7 sophomore said Tuesday night’s 68-57 victory over Logan at the Logan fieldhouse was just another game.
The fact that he played for the Rangers as a freshman, he said, didn’t change a thing before, during or after a game his fourth-ranked team needed to remain undefeated in the MVC.
“It was a regular game, and we just wanted to come out and play the way we play,” Thompson said after scoring 16 points and blocking five shots to go with his 14 rebounds. “It was a little weird at first, but I got used to it.
“It just became another court after a little while.”
While Central’s Johnny Davis and Logan’s CJ Siegel shined in stretches, Thompson had the most consistent impact in Tuesday night’s win, which was the Red Raiders’ ninth in a row.
Davis scored consistently on his way to a team-high 21 points, and he defended Siegel very well early. Siegel, however, turned the tables on the Red Raiders in the second half and nearly shot the Rangers back into it as they cut a 23-point deficit to 10.
But whenever a play needed to be made, Thompson was there.
He was there to tip in missed shots, he was there to grab offensive rebounds, and he was there to alter anything the Rangers wanted to do offensively in the lane.
Not everything went perfectly.
He had a couple of his shots blocked, and he made a couple of turnovers. Thompson even missed a couple of shots from point-blank range.
But he kept his composure — as, it must be pointed out, did the Logan student section — and made a statement with his play.
“He played extremely hard, extremely well and did a lot of good things,” Central coach Todd Fergot said of Thompson, who went 8-for-8 from the free-throw line. “He’s a 15-year-old kid, and he’s so big, I think people sometimes forget that.
“I was very proud of the way he handled the whole situation, and now it’s done.”
Logan (3-7, 1-3) made its intentions known early. It was going to attack the basket whenever possible, using those opportunities to either score or draw fouls.
“We wanted them to know we were going to attack the basket and play tough against them for 36 minutes,” Logan coach Andy Fernholz said. “That’s what we wanted to do tonight.”
With Thompson’s effort leading the way, not much of either happened during those situations. Things changed, however, when Siegel found his rhythm.
A putback by Davis gave the Red Raiders a 54-30 lead with 8 minutes, 39 seconds left. Siegel responded with a 3-pointer at the other end.
Logan’s next eight possessions resulted in 17 points, and the Rangers were within 59-47 when Siegel dropped another 3-pointer over the outstretched arm of Davis with 4:25 left.
“We still thought we could make the plays we had to make,” Thompson said.
Logan missed on its next two possessions, and Thompson grabbed the rebound both times. He also turned an offensive rebound into two points and made four bonus free throws in the final 1:16 to help his team hold on.
Thompson blocked three first-half shots and once swatted away attempts on two consecutive possessions.
Logan got on the board when Matthew Borsheim turned a steal into a layup 2:34 into the game to tie the score at 2 before the Red Raiders reeled off the next five points.
A perimeter jump shot by Calvin Mavin was followed by a 6-0 Central run that finished with a Noah Parcher drive to make it 13-6. Logan was within 19-10 when Jahki Funches scored in the lane with 6:36 on the clock, but that was as close as it could get before Central built its lead to 31-18 by halftime.