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The Elder States(wo)man - Ladue News: Sports

The Elder States(wo)man

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Posted: Thursday, February 9, 2012 12:30 pm

Jordan Thompson never knew four years could move so fast. But here she is, on the precipice of wrapping up her prep basketball career. A four-year varsity staple for the Webster Groves girls’ basketball team, Thompson looked at the schedule last week and just had to shake her head. Time is running out—fast. “We only have four games left, five including districts,” she says. “It’s kind of crazy.”

What’s crazy is that the 5-foot-6 Thompson has gone from being a fresh faced freshman point guard charged with running an offense that was loaded with experienced, upperclassmen weapons, to being the elder statesmen (pun intended) on a team that’s chockfull of underclassmen. Thompson, 18, has more mileage and varsity experience than the rest of her varsity teammates combined. And there aren’t that many. Webster has only carried seven varsity regulars (including Thompson) this year.

What’s even crazier is that the Statesmen have found a way to make it work. With Thompson running the show, Webster is 15-7 and sitting atop the Suburban South Conference standings. The league championship could be decided Friday night when rival Kirkwood comes calling for a 6 p.m. tipoff at Webster’s Roberts Gym.

Thompson is ready for the challenge. And that’s exactly what it’ll be—a challenge. Kirkwood comes into the game with its own standout point guard, Liana Doty. Doty and Thompson will forever be intertwined because they’re both seniors, both four-year varsity starters and both point guards. Doty, a Mizzou recruit, has a couple of seniors to lean on to share the burden of leadership and scoring. Thompson has one senior, two juniors, one sophomore and three freshmen.

But that’s what makes the Statesmen’s accomplishments so impressive. Anything is possible on the basketball court if you have a good point guard. And Thompson is just that.

On the season she’s averaging 17 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals per game. For her career she’s scored 1,419 points, good enough for third all-time in Webster history. She should surpass Anne Westhoff ’s 1,446 this season and take over second place all-time.

Scoring, though, is only part of a point guard’s job. In order for the team to be successful, the point guard has to be able to run the offense, share the basketball and, essentially, be a coach on the floor. “Point guard is a head honcho position,” Thompson says. “You can’t be a role player if you’re a point guard.”

The way Thompson can beat defensive pressure off the dribble and get the Statesmen into their offense is one of the many reasons Washington University recruited her. She’s ecstatic about taking her game to the next level, especially a program as powerful and successful as Wash. U. “I’m so excited for the future,” she says. “It’s great that I get to be a part of that winning tradition.”

Before she goes, though, Thompson would like to help the Statesmen do some more winning. Once the regular season wraps up there is a district tournament at St. Louis University High that includes St. Joe, Ursuline, Nerinx Hall and Ladue. Not exactly a cakewalk for a team that’s long on youth and short on experience. Then again, anything is possible with a good point guard. And, without a doubt, Thompson is just that.

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