North Pontotoc Vikings pull away, remain unbeaten

By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal

INGOMAR – North Pontotoc Vikings head coach Chris Pettit thought his squad needed an energy boost in Friday night’s second half.
Does Red Bull work during a game?
Pettit found the right motivation at halftime, and the Vikings found a way to stay undefeated, edging the Ingomar Falcons 72-63.
“As much as we got out played in the first half, our energy level was up in the second half,” Pettit said. “The biggest thing was to get our energy level up.
“We needed a game like this. We had some of our starters in foul trouble early, but we had been playing our whole bench already during the season, and this made us a little bit deeper.”
North Pontotoc (10-0) was digging itself a hole, trailing 37-32 at the half. And after a pair of baskets by Devonte Williamson, the host Falcons owned a 41-34 margin in the third quarter.
That is when the Vikings energy level appeared to get a boost.
North Pontotoc forged ahead 44-41, capped by four points from Luke Dowdy. But Ingomar kept plugging away, leading 52-49 on a 7-0 run to close the period, including a pair of Sam Cobb baskets.
The Vikings finally took the lead for good at 55-54 on a free throw by Ben Shannon. Ingomar was still within 60-59 with 4 minutes, 28 seconds to play on a Cobb basket from the lane, but a pair of field goals by Marcus Green helped to push the margin up to 66-59 with 2:31 left.
“We were leading 41-34, then all of a sudden, we had three or four empty trips,” Ingomar head coach Jonathan Ashley said. “You can’t afford empty trips.”
Shannon paced North Pontotoc with 21 points, while Matt Hale hit 17 for Ingomar.
(G) North Pontotoc 47, Ingomar 25: The Lady Vikings handed head coach Shane Montgomery his 600th career win in basketball.
Andrea Lewis led North Pontotoc (9-1) with 14 points. The Lady Vikings led 23-10 at the half.