Cliff Thompson joked that right now would be a good time to retire. After all, he would retire undefeated as the Big Spring boys’ basketball coach at 1-0.
Then he quickly noted that winning just feels too good.
The Steers upended Fort Stockton for a season-opening 69-33 for Thompson’s first win as Big Spring’s head coach. If the Steers can continue to improve, Thompson just might have the chance to get used to winning.
Tristain Clay had a team-high 13 points and right behind him was Luke Adams with 12. Seth Pearson hit a few buckets in the second half for a 10-point performance. Dayvion Young had eight points.
“I thought from time to time we did alright,” Adam said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do. We can play a lot better than that. We just didn’t play to our potential. We got kind of caught in their fast game and we tried to slow it down. We’ll be pretty good this year.”
The Steers had a good handle on this game early. While Fort Stockton missed shots, Adams, Clay and Chris Turner got things started. However, a few misses and turnovers kept Fort Stockton around by the end of the first quarter. The Panthers were down by nine at halftime.
Pearson hit all five of his shots in the third quarter, helping Big Spring to a 22-point lead. It was then when the Steers dictated the pace of the game and cut down the turnovers.
Thompson said the second-half play was much better than the first and the main hurdle for the Steers right now is getting everyone in basketball shape.
The Steers have five football players on varsity this season and those players haven’t had too much time to practice. Conditioning has been and will continue to be key this season. Thompson noted three of those football players — Mike Menefield, Pearson and Devante Lloyd — are mainly in the post, so they don’t to do a lot of ball handling. The other two are guards Young and DaVonte Anderson. Thompson also said there are not of players on this team with a ton of varsity experience.
“For the basketball guys, I thought they looked pretty good,” Lloyd said. “For the football guys, we still look good, but we’ve got a lot of work to do because we came from football straight to basketball. It’s our first game, so we looked a little rough.”
But the talent on this team can’t be ignored. The Steers have skill at every position and they are deep.