Posted: Wednesday, 27 February 2013 2:21PM

Athlete of the Week: Thatch Unruh, Branson Basketball

Shooters aren’t born; they are made.  Although if you know anything about the Unruh family, you’d swear that they have some sort of “shooter gene.”  First there was Tate who is currently playing at Northern Colorado.  And now there’s Thatch, senior sharpshooter at Branson.

“Me, as a kid, going into my brothers workouts and watching him and my dad workout gave me the inspiration to what to be good someday,” the younger Unruh said.

But becoming one of the area’s best shooters took more than inspiration, it took hours and hour of hard work.

“He puts in the time.  There’s no magic wand in basketball," Branson coach Brian McTague said. "The kids that put in the time to get better shoot it a lot.”

And shoot is what Unruh does.

“During the season maybe 150-200 (makes per day);  Offseason, probably 500 makes a day," Unruh said of his shooting routine.

That kind of preparation has paid off in a big way, as Unruh’s hot shooting helped lead Branson to the COC-Large title this season.

“He just wants to win," McTague said.  "On nights when he’s really hitting, he can hit 5, 6, 7 shots pretty easily.”

“When it’s coming off clean, and I’m getting the ball high, and I’m getting my feet set, I feel like it’s going in every time,” Unruh said.

And when it’s mattered most, Unruh has come through.  The best example being a buzzer beater to knock off then #1 ranked Nixa.

“I was lucky it went in. I shot it kind of flat," Unruh said of the shot. "That's one that I didn't think would go in.  I'm glad it did though.“

He is a hard worker, a clutch performer and as far as his range is concerned, he’s in range as soon as he steps off the bus.

“Thatch is definitely one of those types of kids that when everything breaks down, can you make a play?  And he can make a play,” McTague said.

And for Unruh, his confidence is always high.

“I have the mindset that if I can get it off, it’s going in," Unruh said. "So whenever I’m open I’m going to let it go."

Filed Under :  
People : Brian McTagueThatch Unruh
Photo Galleries

Pictures: Mizzou 38, South Dakota State 18

The Tigers won their opening game of the season in front of 60,000 people.

Pictures: Strafford XC Meet

Springfield Catholic swept the team titles while Tabitha Weber and Daylan Quinn clenched individual gold medals.

Pictures: Top 100 Photos of Week 2 Football

Catch the 100 best photos from the second week of the football season.
O-Zone Opinion
Mohawk Chronicles: Week 2 Football Recap
Who were the big players from Week 2 football? What do you have to look forward to in Week 3. I cover it all here. See all of Week Two's top plays in the video above. Big Man on Campus Johnny Healy, Mountain Grove – Often...
Read More
5 Takeaways from Mizzou's win over SDSU
Mizzou opened its football season with a 38-18 win over FCS opponent South Dakota State on Saturday. Here are five things I am taking away from the first game of the season. PICTURES: MIZZOU VS. SOUTH DAKOTA STATE - CLICK HERE 1. It is a good thing...
Read More
Win or lose, 2014's the turning point for Bears' program
 The freshness of a new season offers a chance for a fresh start, hope and the promise of a better future.   And if you’ve been a Missouri State football fan or follower for any part of the past two and a half decades, you know no team...
Read More
Most Viewed