PHS freshman Thomas sparks two wins 163

KINGWOOD — Preston freshman Michelle Thomas pulled double duty Dec. 16, playing five quarters altogether — one in the junior varsity game and four in the varsity.

Perhaps even more impressive, she was the leading scorer in both.

Thomas dropped 12 points in the junior-varsity victory and added 16 for the varsity as the Knights defeated the visiting Grafton Bearcats, 83-39.

The final points total was a school record for Preston (3-1), breaking the mark of 82 set by last year’s team, against Elkins.

“I think you can see the potential, for having nine freshmen and sophomores in our top 14,” Preston head coach Brian Miller said. “I think you can see the potential of what we’re trying to work toward.”

The story of the afternoon for the Knights was a high-octane shooting attack and fast-paced offense, attacking the Bearcats vigorously in transition to open up scoring opportunities.

“As far as today’s game goes, our rebounding and transition offense was phenomenal,” Miller said. “That was probably the best transition offense I maybe have ever seen from a Preston team. We had a great offense last year, but our transition offense tonight was just lay-up after lay-up.”

The Knights opened with vigor and intensity from the start, jumping out to a 28-7 lead in the first period on the shoulders of a 13-point effort from senior Makenzie Friend.

Friend found her way to the hoop more often than she has this season, aided by the scoring abilities of her young teammates.

“We knew what the focus was going to be on for other defenses — it was going to be on Makenzie,” Miller said. “Last year, teams couldn’t do that, because we had the seniors that made the other defenses stay on us.

“The first couple games you could see them focused on Makenzie and not really respecting anyone else, because everyone’s new and they wanted to see them prove it. Hopefully tonight, this will make the offense easier.”

The assault continued in the second quarter, as Preston outscored Grafton, 15-5, en route to a 43-12 lead at halftime. The second half became a showcase for the Knights reserves, as most of the starters quickly left the game. The bench for the Knights was no less impressive, pouring in a 40-point second-half performance.

Behind the outstanding effort from Thomas, Felton and Friend helped lead the Knights with 15 points apiece, while senior Taylor Mayne tallied 10.

Preston won the junior-varsity game, 47-28, behind Thomas’s 12 points.

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