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Basketball: Sister act – Ingrams help Sissies to hot start

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, January 10, 2018
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Family Time

FAMILY TIME – Though injured, Delaney Ingram has helped coach her sister Ashley during the team’s strong start to the year. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

It was an otherwise ordinary play for Bridgeport’s Delaney Ingram.

Running in transition, Ingram started to backpedal. But when she went to switch her hips, Ingram tripped, falling backwards onto the hardwood. As she tried to catch herself, Ingram landed squarely on her right hand. The force of the impact broke her wrist, leaving Ingram in a cast and sidelined for the next six weeks.

“I got caught up in my own feet going backwards,” Ingram said. “When I fell I tried to stop myself and I broke it.”

Ingram’s injury means the Sissies will be without their most experienced post likely until the playoffs. The 6’2 post has averaged nine points, eight rebounds and two blocks per game this season.

Fortunately for the Sissies, they don’t have to look far to find her replacement.

Ingram’s younger sister, Ashley, will look to fill the void in the paint. Although she has been primarily used as a stretch 4 on the perimeter, the 6-footer will play more on the block over the next several weeks.

One of Bridgeport’s top scorers, Ashley is averaging 12 points and seven rebounds per game.

“With Delaney being out, Ashley is having to be a down low presence,” said Bridgeport coach Dallas Taylor. “She’s putting her back to the basket and luckily, in the progression of us developing our players, we’ve made her play inside and out. She’s handling it OK.”

Bridgeport’s other post, Cheyanne Weirich, also injured herself the same game Delaney went down. With their frontcourt depleted, the Sissies have relied on Ashley and fellow freshman Jade Hall.

Although she’s been forced to watch from the bench, Delaney is still determined to help her sister any way she can. In her third season on varsity, Delaney is trying to set Ashley up for success while she recovers from her injury.

“I hope that Ashley takes what Delaney says and really uses it,” Taylor said. “My hope is that sisterly love is there and she’s listening to big sis. But you know how sisters [are].”

Despite playing basketball much of their lives, this is the first time Delaney and Ashley have played on the same team together.

When they are both on the court, the sisters – and their coach – acknowledge there is a special connection. Taylor says to utilize their size, Bridgeport often runs a “high-low” play, with one sister in the paint and the other on the perimeter.

Often leading to an easy basket, Delaney and Ashley say helping each other score never gets old.

“[Playing together] is interesting because we know what each other can do,” Ashley said. “It has a special feeling to it.”

With Delaney out for the foreseeable future, the Ingram tandem will be cut to one. As District 9-4A play heats up, the Sissies will face several tough tests down the stretch.

Last week against Argyle, the defending 4A state champions, Bridgeport hung right with the Lady Eagles despite being significantly shorthanded. Against a team that beat them twice last season by a combined score of 117-37, the Sissies narrowly fell in their District 9-4A opener 48-46.

“When we have them and they’re healthy, it’s fun to watch,” Taylor said. “It’s a luxury to have. You can pull one away from the basket and find mismatches and really go at people. When you don’t have them, you miss them, that’s for sure.”

For Delaney, the focus now shifts to getting healthy. Ashley, meanwhile, will try to fill the shoes left by her older sister.

Together, however, they share a mutual goal – reunite the Ingram duo as quickly as possible.

“I think [playing together] is kind of like a dream come true,” Ashley said. “Our parents and grandparents love it. They love seeing us on the court together.”

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