Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Greensburg Senior Keeps Getting Better

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Greensburg Senior Keeps Getting Better

Article excerpt

The amorphization of Julian Thompson from stellar high school athlete to stellar high school basketball player is complete.

A 6-foot-4 senior at Greensburg Salem, Thompson long has shown his versatile athleticism. He's been a standout in three sports. But in recent weeks he's shown he has a complete game on the basketball court.

"His game has really grown the past month of the season, and he has clearly gotten better since his sophomore year," Lions coach Paul Sapotichne said. "He's been with our program since third grade, and he's gotten a little bigger and stronger every year. But even more importantly, he's gotten much better. He's worked on his shot and ballhandling to the point he's a pretty impressive player."

Thompson had a breakout game Saturday, scoring a career-high 34 points in a 73-49 non-section win against Highlands. That improved the Golden Lions to 8-2 overall, but Greensburg Salem since sustained its first Section 3-AAA loss, 53-51, at Uniontown Tuesday. That loss knocked the Lions out of the Post-Gazette rankings. They were No. 4 in Class AAA last week.

Thompson is the team's second-leading scorer. He was averaging 15.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per game and was shooting 55 percent from the field and had 21 steals heading into the week.

"We post him up a lot, but he also can take you off the dribble and hit a '2' as well as hit some 3s," Sapotichne said. "Clearly, he's at his best with his back to the basket, but he has expanded his game, there's no question about that.

"I think he's hard to match up with for a lot of teams because you put a real big guy on him, he's too quick -- but a smaller guy can't guard him in the post."

He certainly was a tough matchup for Highlands. Thompson easily outscored the Golden Rams' Micah Mason in that game. Mason led the WPIAL in scoring last season and is a favorite to do so again this year, but he was held to 20 points by Greensburg Salem. …

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