Maumelle’s Cole Thomas gets the dunk against Booneville last week. (Photo by Paul Fimpel Jr.)
After a week of fun and winning, Maumelle hopes to carry the momentum into this week against stiffer competition. Having no problems with Dover and Booneville last week, the Hornets traveled to Dardanelle on Tuesday and host Waldron on Friday.
Maumelle (9-9, 5-1 4A-4) defeated Dover, 66-42, last Tuesday, and handled Booneville, 71-52, last Friday. Senior guard/forward Cole Thomas had double-doubles in both contests with 19 points and 12 rebounds against Dover and 12 points and 11 rebounds in the Booneville contest. Sophomore guard J.B. Minix added 11 points against Dover and newcomer freshman guard Shawn Williams (5-foot-11) chipped in 10 points at Booneville.
“Dover was a fun game,” Maumelle Coach Michael Shook said. “We had six dunks by four different guys, and the crowd enjoyed the game. Booneville went about the same way. We were up by six to point a few times, but the end result was the same.”
The Hornets also had a couple of dunks in the Booneville game and shot 50 percent from the field. They also cut down on the turnover in both games. Shook is really noticing that Maumelle’s confidence is high and the chemistry is much better, and the guys are enjoying playing with each other.
“We run some things in practice that are competitive and makes us execute better,” Shook said. “I think what we’ve done has contributed to the team chemistry. Also, there are consequences for mouthing, and I’ve seen a difference in the games. We are shooting better and sharing the ball more equally which gives us better shots.”
Since spraining his ankle in the first game of the season, Thomas has stepped up and started playing well. Shook said Thomas was playing hesitant, but has started to play the way of which he is capable.
“He was playing scared, and his dad had a talk with him,” Shook said. “It’s his senior year, and his dad made him realize he can step up and play hard and have a chance to contribute or keep playing tentative.”
Dardanelle is known for playing good defense but has a hard time scoring. If the game was high scoring—in the 60’s or 70’s, chances are Maumelle won. What Shook wants is for the Hornets to continue to rebound well, shoot well, keep the turnovers down and execute the zone defense.
Maumelle has already played Waldron and won by six points. The Bulldogs can shoot the ball well and have a big guy inside the Hornets need to control.
“I’m looking forward to Friday,” Shook said. “They are going to be mad because we beat them by six points the first time, and we aren’t too happy they are ranked number six in 4A in the Democrat.”