Dillard absorbs best shot, then delivers in second half

By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

INGOMAR – A shot to the eye sent Heather Dillard to the floor and out of the game in the first half.
In the second half, Ingomar’s senior point guard helped the Lady Falcons deck West Union 44-34 Tuesday in the first round of the Division 2-1A tournament.
Dillard connected on three second-half 3-pointers – two in the third quarter – to help Ingomar erase an 8-point deficit.
“That’s the best game she’s played all season – from start to finish,” Ingomar coach Trent Adair said. “She played defense, made shots and did a good job getting us in what we needed to be in on offense.”
Dillard scored 17 points to lead the Lady Falcons (18-14), who advance to Thursday’s semifinals against the state’s top-ranked team, H.W. Byers. However, the victory against their county rival assured Ingomar of at least three more postseason games.
Extending the season is what Dillard and her teammates wanted.
“This feels amazing,” said Dillard, her left eye lid sporting a small gash. “It’s such a blessing.”
Ingomar fell behind 23-15 in the third quarter when West Union freshman Samantha Bridges drove the baseline for a layup.
The Lady Falcons responded with a 9-0 run to take the lead. Reid Little, who went to the sidelines with three fouls in the first half, opened the spurt with back-to-back layups. She finished with 11 points.
The hot-shooting Dillard sank a 3-pointer to tie the score at 27-27 minutes later to end the third quarter.
Ingomar owned the fourth quarter, outscoring the Lady Eagles 17-7.
“They got really hot,” West Union coach Kelly Robbins said. “We never picked up the tempo. We didn’t have a good shooting night.”
West Union (18-12) was led by Bridges with 11 and Gracen Conlee with 10.
(B) H.W. Byers 85, West Union 57: A.J. Malone scored 25 points to lead the Lions, who outscored the Eagles 31-9 in the third quarter of a close game.
gene.phelps@journalinc.com