By David Wheeler/NEMS Daily Journal
INGOMAR – Veteran head coach Norris Ashley likes the way his Ingomar Falcons are “trending” at this point in the season.
The Falcons certainly trended in the right direction Friday against the Myrtle Hawks.
Some third quarter sharp-shooting by the Falcons provided the cushioning needed to eventually dispatch the Hawks 62-49 in a Division 2-1A contest.
“The players decided to turn it up in the second half,” the veteran Ashley said. “They weren’t playing defense in the first half, and Myrtle got too many easy shots.”
The first half was the type of entertainment that would be expected in a good Union County matchup, with Ingomar (13-11, 2-1) clinging to a 22-19 lead after the first quarter.
A 9-0 run pushed the Falcons advantage to 31-24, only to have a Jonathan West basket push the Hawks to a 33-32 lead with 32 seconds left in the half. Steven Foster responded with a bucket from the paint with 14 seconds left to give Ingomar a 34-33 lead.
“We basically went out in the half-court defense in the third quarter, and something got lost in the translation,” said Myrtle coach Jonathan Ashley. “We let them get wide open for some 3-pointers in the third quarter, and that was the obvious difference.
“Our players must have been giving them the death stare, and hoping they wouldn’t make any shots.”
Ben Paist hit the opening field goal of the third period for Myrtle, but that was the last time the Hawks would see the lead.
Matt Hale and Henry Foster hit back-to-back 3s, then LaQuinn Foster added a third, and Ingomar quickly had a 43-37 lead. Myrtle (14-9, 1-2) never recovered as Ingomar went on to lead 52-41 through the third quarter, and opened the fourth period with a 7-0 run.
Steven Foster paced Ingomar with 18 points, while Robert Montgomery led Myrtle with 16.
(G) Myrtle 51, Ingomar 24: Coming off their first loss of the season Tuesday, and the loss of a starter to injury, the Lady Hawks (22-1, 2-1) looked sluggish in the first quarter.
But Myrtle got it together enough to outscore Ingomar 19-4 in the second quarter for a 28-9 halftime lead.
Halle Knowles led Myrtle with 16, and Reid Little hit 15 for Ingomar.