Former Wood River High School star basketball player Haylee Thompson matched her career high with 16 points off the bench Monday as her Valparaiso (Ind.) Crusaders crushed Indiana University-Kokomo 102-47 in their home opener at Athletics-Recreation Center in Valparaiso.

    One of 12 Crusader scorers on the night, 6-2 redshirt senior forward Thompson scored 16 points in just 14 minutes of playing time on 6-for-8 field goal shooting, plus 4-for-6 at the free throw line. She added three rebounds. Last December, she also scored 16 points against Cardinal Stritch.

    Coach Tracey Dorow said about Thompson, “I thought she battled for position. We moved the ball to get her the ball. She worked hard for it.”

    Thompson, who turns 22 on Thanksgiving Day, is averaging 5.0 ppg and 11.3 minutes per game of playing time. The Crusaders improved to 2-2 by winning the first of a four-game homestand leading up to their Dec. 4 trip to Notre Dame.

    Now a third-year Crusader player, Thompson sat out the 2013-14 season at Valparaiso because of NCAA transfer eligibility rules. At Utah State University in 2013, she played 31 games, averaging 2.3 ppg and 2.4 rebounds.

    Thompson was a dominant player for the Wood River girls’ team that won back-to-back Great Basin Conference tour-nament championships in 2011 and 2012. Those two Hailey teams earned State 4A runner-up and third-place tourney ti-tles in those years.



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