Golden Girls: Ingomar wins back-to-back state titles

Ingomar's Lauren Thompson, Gara Beth Self and Lauren Wooley hold up the Class 2A trophy after defeating Coahoma County for the state title on Friday.

Ingomar’s Lauren Thompson, Gara Beth Self and Lauren Wooley hold up the Class 2A trophy after defeating Coahoma County for the state title on Friday.

JACKSON – Ingomar’s road to a second straight Class 2A state title wasn’t easy. A season riddled with injuries and adversity, as many highs as there were lows. A season with a target on the teams back as others hoped to pick the Lady Falcons off.

Ingomar rose above the ranks on Friday, defeating Coahoma County with a second-half offensive surge to win 55-42 and win the state title.

“We’re just blessed,” Ingomar head coach Trent Adair said, “We’re just fortunate. We’ve got a tight group of kids. All of them are hungry, all of them are hard workers. Combine that with skill and talent. They’ve proved they can win in any way. It’s incredible what they’ve accomplished.”

Ingomar fell behind to Coahoma County in the opening minutes as the Panthers opened with an 8-0 run behind a pair of three-pointers and an open layup. The Falcons rallied in the second quarter, eliminating most of Coahoma’s lead to trail the Panthers 27-26 at the halftime break.

Lindsay Hall turned in three of her 13 points in the game with a shot behind the arc to tie the game at 29-29 and Carson Grisham’s layup handed the Falcons the lead at 31-29 with just over four minutes left in the third quarter.

Sophomore guards Gara Beth Self and Lauren Thompson provided another offensive spark as the pair combined for 34 of Ingomar’s 55 points. Thompson finished the game with a double-double, adding 12 rebounds to her 18 points to lead the Lady Falcons and earn MVP after the game.

While Ingomar’s roller coaster season has been felt by all the Falcons, Thompson’s role in the offensive scheme shifted following Mallory Russell’s season-ending ACL tear, creating a challenge for the sophomore.

“I just didn’t want to come out here and not play well in the state championship game,” Thompson said, “I hadn’t played well in our two other games down here and I was determined not to repeat that today.”

The Lady Falcons rush the court in celebration as the buzzer sounds to end the Class 2A championship game.

The Lady Falcons rush the court in celebration as the buzzer sounds to end the Class 2A championship game.

Thompson and Self were able to attack the basket and go inside to score key points for Ingomar in the second half, building a lead behind those possessions and a pair of three-pointers from Hall.

“I knew she [Thompson] wouldn’t settle. She responds to challenges and she was great today,” Adair said.

The Lady Falcons hug head coach Trent Adair following their Class 2A state championship win on Friday.

The Lady Falcons hug head coach Trent Adair following their Class 2A state championship win on Friday.

The Lady Falcons back-to-back state championship wins match the 1991-1992 and 1992-1993 teams who won consecutive state titles in Class 1A. For Self, that achievement is one she is familiar with.

For Self, that achievement is one she is familiar with.

Self’s mother played on both of those Ingomar teams.

“We’ve definitely talked about it before,” Self said. “She’s told me what it was like, what they did to win both. I wanted us to do that and now we have. And I can’t even explain how I’m feeling, I’m just full of joy.”

Ingomar closes the season with an overall record of 36-3 and will return all members of the team for the 2017-2018 season.

About Donica Phifer

Donica Phifer grew up in Tishomingo, Miss with two older brothers whose extracurricular activities taught her all about sports at an early age. Before joining the Gazette staff as the Sports Editor, she was a sportswriter for The Daily Corinthian and the Online Editor for three years at The Daily Mississippian, the student newspaper of The University of Mississippi. In her free time she's usually at an Ole Miss sporting event, cheering on the Rebels.

, , ,