INGOMAR • Ingomar scorekeeper Melissa Reed fell backwards and clutched her heart Thursday night when her son’s 3-point shot zipped through the net.
Senior guard Eli Reed has struggled from the perimeter lately, but in the Falcons’ 61-54 victory over Pine Grove in their Class 1A second-round state tournament game, he was on target at the right time.
Reed’s successful third-quarter 3-pointer was sandwiched between four layups and was part of an 11-0 run that gave Ingomar a 46-35 lead with 2:59 remaining in the period.
The Falcons eventually built their lead to 14 points in the fourth quarter, before Pine Grove attempted a comeback.
“I’ve been struggling, but you just have to have confidence that every shot you take is going to go down,” Reed said. “I’m nervous, but this time of year you’ve got to channel it. If you’re not nervous, you’re not competitive. You’ve got to channel it and play hard.”
Senior forward Tyson Smithey, who led Ingomar with 20 points, opened and closed the third-quarter run with layups. The other two belonged to seniors Zach Shugars and Spencer High.
Ingomar (27-5), the defending state champion, will host H.W. Byers in Saturday’s state quarterfinals. The winner plays next Monday in the state semifinals in Jackson.
For Ingomar, sophomore guard Adin Johnson scored 13 points and connected on three 3-pointers, including his last one with 3:56 remaining.
High opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer. His first 3-pointer gave Ingomar a 35-32 lead early in the third quarter.
“Eli hit a big shot, Adin hit a couple. Spencer was huge. D.J. (Beard) made some good plays. It was just a total team effort,” Ashley said.
The Falcons defeated Pine Grove 85-56 Nov. 6, but the visitors came to play in this second matchup.
Pine Grove’s Carson Rowland scored 25 points, including three 3-pointers, and Jack Hudson scored 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Three of those came in the first half.
Pine Grove led 18-13 in the first quarter and trailed 32-30 at halftime.
“This time of year you’re going to get everybody’s best,” Ashley said. “Give them credit, they were on fire. You’ve got weather the storm.”