Last week, Tug Valley head coach “Rabbit” Thompson chose to take his squad to the UPike Summer Team Camp.
That games took place at UPike’s gymnasium, along with Mullins, Pikeville and Pike Central.
The Panthers competed in three games on Tuesday and competed very well.
Coach Thompson stated that he felt “blessed” to be back on the sideline leading these student athletes.
The team looked very comfortable and seemed to enjoy playing with one another in their summer exhibitions. “The kids have been very receptive and eager,” Thompson said. And it showed the way the team showed the ability to adjust on the fly.
“I like the way the guys interact, listen to coaches, and play together.
The Panthers were able to get out and run often in their games during the camp. Something Thompson said he thought the kids would like to do in one of his earlier interviews. The increase in pace is showing its flashes of brilliance. For instance, The Panthers Caleb May and Zach Savage absolutely dominated the fast break pushing the ball down the floor for easy layups.
The Panthers are also showing an increase in athleticism by putting forward Matt Linville in the lineup. The bigman swatted multiple shots during the camp and also gave the Panthers another scoring option down low beside Ethan Colegrove. The duo can really give Tug valley an advantage on the boards and give them some rim protection. Easton davis also showed he can contribute with the way he is able to pass from the elbow and rebounds on the offensive glass. Davis is versatile enough to play with Colegrove and Linville which really helps the Panthers depth at forward and center.
The camp however wasn’t just for the players and coach Thompson raved about the work his staff put in preparing for the camp along with ideas and coaching strategies they implemented during the camp. “My staff, Tyler, David, Ronnie, and Curt have been a tremendous help.” The Panthers really turned some heads at the camp and put themselves in a good spot going into next season.
The team looks to improve on last year which will be tough, but “Rabbit” Thompson wants to do Panther Nation right.
“We hope to put a team out there that the community will be proud of,” Thompson said.
With the talent they have along with the bounty of coaches bolstering the bench and locker room, the Panthers will do nothing short of making the community proud.