Hickory Flat’s bench play was the difference maker, as the Rebels held on for an 89-81 win at Ingomar on Saturday.
Despite being outsized by the Rebels, Ingomar played a fast tempo and stayed close, trailing 18-14 after the first quarter.
Down by as many as 12 in the second quarter, Ingomar pulled within six at the half large in part to 15 first half points from Steven Foster.
Anthony Tucker’s seven third quarter points helped the Rebels build a 15-point lead, but foul trouble plagued Coach Michael Seger’s team, which is where they benefited from their depth.
“I think we were a little deeper and had more guys to play that could help us,” Seger said. “Everyone but our water boy and manager were in foul trouble in the first half, and we played 12 players play in the first half, but we have the type of bench to support that. Our best player was on the bench in order to keep him from picking up three fouls in the first half, and because of our depth, we were fortunate to have the lead at the half.”
Ingomar would have one more surge in the fourth, cutting the Rebels’ lead to five with less than three minutes remaining, but could not do any more after Foster fouled out.
“This was definitely a clash of two different styles, because we wanted to dominate at the perimeter and our post play while they focus on their guard play,” Seger said. “Our guys were focused and executed our game plan, so we didn’t have too many problems with their pressure. When we got in a hurry, which is why they pressured us to make hurry, they did a good job of making us turn the ball over.”
Foster led all scorers with 34 points, while Laquain Foster scored15 points and Denzel Siddell and Devonte Williamson each had 10 points.
Pennilton led the Rebels with 21 points, followed by Tucker and Coutrney Beam scoring 15 each and Austin Lowrey had 13 points. Hickory Flat’s bench, led by Beam, outscored the Falcons 27-10.
Hickory Flat 40 Ingomar 29 (girls)
The Lady Rebels used a tenacious defense to win its season opener at Ingomar, led by 17 points from sophomore Kadedjar Moore.
“She has improved so much on keeping her head and spreading the floor,” coach Alicia Pickens said. “She’s an asset to our team, and she can be the first out of the shotgun, but be the calm one, too.”
Ingomar held an early 9-3 advantage in the first quarter, but were outscored 22-4 for the remainder of the half and held to only one made basket in the second quarter. Hickory Flat again held the Lady Falcons to only one basket in the fourth quarter.
“We came in with the mentality that we’re going to play hard. We’re a young team and we knew ball handling wouldn’t be easy for Ingomar, so we wanted to jump on them,” Pickens said. “It took us a little while in the first quarter to get our rotations worked out, and we got into some foul trouble, but they played really hard. I’m so proud of their defense all game. They played very hard.”
After Moore’s 17 points, Amber Thompson scored 13 points. Reid Little led the Lady Falcons with 11 points.
Both Hickory Flat and Ingomar will next be on the road, traveling to Tupelo and New Albany, respectively, on Monday.
Other Union Co. scores from Saturday, Nov. 5
Myrtle 78 Coffeeville 63 (boys)
Myrtle 75 Coffeeville 51 (girls)
Tupelo 65 New Albany 51 (girls)