By JAY TIDWELL/Sports Writer SPRINGVILLE — A ten-day vacation was long enough for the Lady Cougars. South Pontotoc bolted to an early lead and held on for a 55-43 non-division win against Ingomar on Monday in the first game for both schools following Thanksgiving break. Emily Henson scored 16 points, followed by C.C. Costilow (14), Cortney Collums (10), Lexi Wilson (8), and Elizabeth Henson (7), as the Lady Cougars held the lead from the first basket. “I was really looking forward to it,” said Costilow, a sophomore guard. “I don’t like being off that long, and I was pretty pumped up for it. “I think every body was.” Lady Cougars lead the way South — which last played on Nov. 19 in the Pontotoc Invitational Tournament — led 11-2 after one quarter and 26-20 at halftime before opening up a double-digit lead in the third and holding it through the final period. “I was really pleased with our effort tonight,” said South Pontotoc head coach Matt Waldrop. “I thought our judgment was good. I thought our taking care of the basketball was good. I thought our execution in general was good. I thought we did a pretty good job overall on defense. I was well-pleased with the effort coming off the break, especially. “The focus was there,” Waldrop said. “We said that if we get in the game defensively, that will carry over — your mental approach is what it needs to be.” Ingomar (1-6) trimmed the deficit to 26-22 early in the second half, but South (3-4) quickly pulled away. A basket by Wilson with 7:06 showing in the third period started an 11-2 run that was capped by a steal, layup and free throw by Costilow with 1:22 left in the quarter that made it a 37-24 game. An assist from Emily Henson to Wilson helped the Lady Cougars to their biggest lead of the evening (41-26) in the opening minute of the fourth and final period. Midway through the quarter, with a 47-35 advantage, South went into clock-burning mode and held at least a 10-point margin to the final buzzer. “We had a pretty good lead there, and we just wanted to run a little time off the clock,” Waldrop said. “They were kind of forced, having to come out and guard us. I thought that was one of the areas the girls showed maturity and executed really well.” Kayla Stevens had 12 points to lead Ingomar, which competes in Region 2-1A.

 

Jay Tidwell

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