Ingram lifts Hornets

Published: Sunday, January 12, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 12, 2003 at 1:11 a.m.
ALACHUA - After Friday's one-point loss to Leesburg, Hawthorne coach Mike Williams said he thought his team would come out flat in Saturday's championship game of the Hitchcock's Challenge against Newberry.
Despite playing their fourth game this week, the Hornets weren't flat and neither was Cornelius Ingram. The junior standout poured in a game-high 39 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and handed out six assists as Hawthorne got by Newberry 79-68 to win the title.
"I was feeling it tonight, every time I touched the ball I wanted to score," said Ingram, who was 13-of-16 shooting from the field and was named the tournament MVP. "This was big for the team and we wanted to make a statement. But I wouldn't be able to do what I did without my teammates."
The Hornets (11-4) led by just five points at halftime, but Ingram scored five straight to push the lead to 10 points early in the third quarter. However, the Panthers (10-4) responded with a 10-0 run to tie the game at 41 at the 4:10 mark of the period. But Hawthorne regained the lead, hitting six consecutive free throws to key a 9-0 spurt for a 50-41 edge.
In the fourth quarter, Keon Brown, who led the Panthers with 25 points, hit two free throws to pull his team to within 58-55 with 4:49 remaining. But Newberry would not get closer as Ingram scored 11 points in the quarter, including a thunderous two-handed dunk to give the Hornets a 71-57 lead with 2:20 left. Rashad Jackson followed with 16 points and also landed a spot on the All-Tournament team. Brown along with Tristian Williams (11 points) were also named to the team.
"I know we are worn out, but we just want to get better," Williams said. "This is my first year and to win my first tournament, feels real good."
Newberry, which is also in the same district with Hawthorne, hung tough in the loss.
"It is a piece of hardware (runner-up trophy) in the foundation we are building," Newberry coach Marvin Buchannon said. "He (Ingram) killed us on the offensive end and we have to find a better way to defend that. I am proud of the kids and we still had a chance to win the ball game."

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