BOYS BASKETBALL: Thompsons lead Rankin into playoffs
Feb 22, 2013 (Odessa American - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
It's hard for Brad Thompson to hide how proud he is to coach the Rankin High School boys basketball team.
Not only because the Red Devils (18-4) won the District 8-1A Division II title and are preparing for the second playoff run in his second season at the school.
What has made it even more enjoyable for the coach is the fact that he gets to coach both of his sons on the same team.
"It's been great," Thompson said. "We've had a lot of fun and they both have done well this season. I think it's pretty neat when you get that opportunity to coach both of your kids on the same team. That probably doesn't happen very often. We've been pretty lucky to have been able to do that. It's been a lot of fun and hopefully we can keep on doing it as long as possible."
The Thompsons will look to continue the fun at 8 tonight at Mustang Arena in Andrews, when they help lead the Red Devils into the area round of the Class 1A Division II playoffs against Ropes (17-8).
Thompson's sons -- 5-foot-10 senior point guard Taylor; and 6-1 sophomore shooting guard Tanner -- have been a large part of the team's success this year.
Tanner is the Red Devils' leading scorer at 17.1 points per game and Taylor averages 12.5. Together they're responsible for 48 percent of the team's scoring.
And the Thompson brothers have combined to knock down 116 over the Red Devils' 142 3-pointers this season -- Tanner with 67 and Taylor with 49.
"It's been a lot of fun playing with my brother," Tanner said. "We've been playing together for a while, and this year has been a lot of fun, especially with it being his senior year."
But the Thompsons are not the only reason Rankin has been so successful this season.
Seniors Nathan Braden and Dalton Michum combine to give the Red Devils one of the most productive frontcourts in West Texas.
The 6-foot-6 Braden is averaging 12.9 points per game and is the leading rebounder on the team, while the athletic Michum is averaging 10.5 points and does a little bit of everything.
"We're lucky to have four guys that can play with each other," Brad Thompson said. "It's pretty nice and I think it makes us a complete team. We don't just rely on our 3-point shooting. Nathan does a great job down inside and then Dalton can shoot it outside too, but he does a real good at taking it to the basket.
"I think we can run the floor, we can shoot the three and I think we can get it down low. One thing works with the other."
Tanner says everything seems to have just fallen into place this year and the Red Devils want to make sure it keeps going.
"We just really came together as a team," Tanner said. "From the beginning of the season to now, we've come together so much, and we've been winning a lot of games.
"But we're not going to look past anybody and get ahead of ourselves. We're just taking each playoff game as it comes and we'll go from there."
--Follow Mike Whitson on Twitter at @OAWhitson
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