By David Wheeler
Special to the Journal
INGOMAR – With a playing rotation dominated by seventh- and eighth-graders, the Ingomar Lady Falcons are positioning themselves for a run in the coming years in Class 1A.
Or could that run be as early as February?
Shaking off some holiday rust, the Lady Falcons positioned themselves nicely enough for a fourth quarter run Friday night, edging the South Pontotoc Lady Cougars 41-37.
“Effort-wise, and with the intensity we played with, this was certainly the best game we’ve played all season,” Lady Falcons coach Trent Adair said. “We could have converted some more shots on offense tonight.”
In a tightly contested affair, the Lady Cougars maintained a bit of an edge through three quarters. South Pontotoc led 9-2 after the first quarter, 16-14 at the half, and 30-29 after three periods.
As it turned out, no problem for Ingomar (9-8).
A basket and a free throw by Lindsay Hall pushed the Lady Falcons to a 32-31 lead early in the fourth quarter, the first of three lead changes to begin the period. Jenna McGregor gave South Pontotoc it’s last lead at 33-32, and a free throw by her with 2:41 to played tied the contest at 36-36.
Sydney Roberts responded for Ingomar with a drive and basket at the 2:34 mark, and two free shots by Mallory Russell with 1:51 left pushed the margin to 40-36.
“We made silly turnovers in the first half,” said Adair, whose squad turned the ball over 20 times in the first two quarters. “We made less turnovers in the second half.”
Russell, an eighth-grader, led Ingomar with 10 points, while McGregor paced South Pontotoc with 12.
(B) Ingomar 65, South Pontotoc 42: Overcoming their holiday layoff, the Falcons (11-6) used a 6-0 run to close the first half for a 26-19 lead. Then Ingomar had a 10-0 run early in the third period, including three baskets by Kelton Hall, to open up its advantage to 36-21.
Ingomar had not played since Dec. 20.
“We did enough things right to get a little separation in the second half,” Falcons head coach Jonathan Ashley said. “We didn’t want to go into Tuesday with that being the first game of the year.”
Ingomar, which plays Division 2-1A foe Blue Mountain on Tuesday, got 18 from Hall, with Xavier Hobson and Colton Watkins scoring 12 each for South Pontotoc.