INGOMAR • Ingomar’s Tyson Smithey has been double trouble for opponents all season.
In last week’s 66-46 win against county rival West Union, the talented small forward posted a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds. He’s averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds per game.
Smithey’s coach, Jonathan Ashley, thinks his senior can play even better.
“Tyson is impressive,” Ashley said. “I stay on him all the time. He’s one of those guys who’ll get 20 and 10, then take a few plays off. I’m always pushing him because I think he can be a 25 and 15 guy.
“When he’s right and motivated, he can control the lane. He’s one of the better offensive and defensive rebounders I’ve coached."
Ingomar (14-4) led the Eagles 27-25 at halftime. Freshman guard Greer Manning scored 12 of his team-high 17 points in the first half for West Union.
The Falcons went to their bench in the third quarter to build a game-changing 54-34 lead. Junior forward Breyden Bell and sophomore guard Adin Johnson provided the offensive and defensive punch.
Johnson connected on five 3-pointers in the second half and finished with 15 points. Bell hit for two 3-pointers and scored 12 points. Both players had defensive stops Ashley thought helped turn the tide.
“It’s an effort thing. We finally woke up and snapped out of it in the second half,” Ashley said. “We had two who stood out to me. Breyden Bell came off the ball down there, made one of those extra effort plays in that run. Adin Johnson came down from 84 feet away and took the ball away.”
Caleb Graves and Brandon Phillips scored nine points apiece for West Union (5-10). Zach Shugars added eight points and Spencer High seven for Ingomar.
(G) Ingomar 52, West Union 46
The Lady Falcons (10-4) built a 14-point lead midway in the third quarter, then held on for the win.
West Union (9-6), behind a 20-point scoring effort by guard Eden Conlee, closed the gap to 46-44 on two free throws by Annie Orman with 17 seconds remaining.
“If we had just made some shots we could have had them,” Conlee said. “We’re trying to play better.”
Kaylee Johnson and Macie Phifer scored 14 points apiece for Ingomar. Camleigh Ball added 10 points. But offense wasn’t coach Trent Adair’s concern postgame.
“We desperately need some defensive dogs; we don’t have that yet,” he said. “We’ve been struggling a couple of years trying to find somebody who embraces that role.”
West Union coach J.C. Hayles was pleased with his team’s overall effort.
“I’m proud of the way my girls battled,” he said. “Coming out of the Christmas holidays we’ve been out of rhythm, but as long as the kids keep competing like they’re competing, we’ll be alright.”