By Gene Phelps
Special to the Gazette
INGOMAR – Ingomar senior guard/forward Lauren Thompson suffered whiplash in a Jan. 23 automobile accident.
In her first game back since the injury, Jan. 29, the Lady Falcons’ opponent – Belmont – felt the pain.
Thompson connected on her first six shot attempts in the second half and scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Lady Falcons to a 45-38 non-division win against the Lady Cardinals.
“I’ve felt better. I was just trying to get through it,” said Thompson, who wrapped her neck in ice postgame. “I knew my team needed me out there. It was an important game to us. I knew I was going to get out there and do something.”
The game featured two of the Daily Journal’s top-rated teams: No. 3 Ingomar (26-3) and No. 9 Belmont (17-7).
Thompson scored three points in the first half, but came out firing and hitting in the third quarter. Her three connective 3-pointers helped Ingomar build a 36-27 headed to the fourth quarter.
The Lady Falcons owned an 18-15 halftime lead.
“I came out in the second half ready to shoot,” Thompson said.
Ingomar coach Trent Adair wasn’t surprised by Thompson’s effort.
“She passed up two shots the first half I wanted her to shoot,” he said, then smiled. “Maybe this convinces her that she’s good to go.”
Defensively, Ingomar held Belmont sophomore standout Macie Walker to 10 points. She didn’t make a field goal in the second half.
“She’s the focal point. They center everything around trying to get it to (Walker),” Adair said. “The other kids feed off her.”
Gara Beth Self, a senior guard, scored 12 for the Lady Falcons. Belmont’ s Abby Kuykendale and Karmen Payne scored nine points apiece.
(B) Ingomar 70, Belmont 56
Clayton Stanford scored a game-high 25 points, including nine in the deciding fourth quarter to lead the Falcons.
Ingomar (25-4) held a 51-45 lead headed into the fourth quarter.
Zach Shugars added 20 points and Tyson Smithey 10 for Ingomar. For Belmont, perimeter shooters Trey Williams and Eric Torres scored 15 points each and combined for seven 3-pointers.