Ingram an integral piece of Tigerette history
Marshall County senior point guard Demariae Ingram has seen the depths and survived to lead the Tigerettes back to glory this season, etching her mark on the storied program in Lewisburg.
“Being a Tigerette is a great experience,” Ingram said. “The team is together day in and day out and we have created friendships that will last a lifetime.”
“Being a part of the Tigerette tradition will always be a highlight in my life because of all the love and support showed by the community.”
The four-time Class 2A champion Tigerettes went into a prolonged slump after the 2009 season and Ingram won just one game in her freshman season before David Steely returned to the bench in the 2016-2017 season and guided the Tigerettes to a 13-15 record.
Things got much better for Ingram in her junior season as she became a seasoned point guard and got some help from an influx of talent that led to a breakout season.
“Being coached by coach Steely has been a wonderful three years,” Ingram said. “Even though it took me a while to warm up to him my sophomore year, I am proud to have him as a coach and thank him for all he has done for me.”
Marshall County posted 22-9 record and earned a spot in the Region 6-AA title game, but lost to Nolensville and three days later, lost a state sectional contest at Ashland City.
Ingram and the Tigerettes were not satisfied and turned in an incredible 2018-2019 campaign as they etched a 27-8 record that included a 12-game winning streak midway through the season.
During the winning streak, MCHS won the Above the Rim Christmas Tournament at Hickman County where Ingram was named MVP.
Marshall County finished in third place in the regular season District 12-AA standings, but made it all the way to the district tournament title game where they fell in a heartbreaking 49-46 overtime loss to Nolensville.
Ingram had a chance to win the game in regulation as she drove to the hoop and kissed the ball off the glass and it was three quarters of the way down before it tantalizing spun out.
Ingram was named to both the All-District 12-AA All-Season and All-Tournament Teams.
Ingram and the Tigerettes humbly accepted the defeat and came on like gangbusters as they came from behind to win the Region 6-AA Tournament title with a 44-38 classic triumph over Creek Wood as Ingram played a huge role in the win with 11 points.
Ingram earned a spot on the All-Region 6-AA Tournament Team with her effort.
This time things were markedly different for Ingram and her Tigerettes teammates as they pasted a favored East Nashville squad 49-35 in a state sectional contest at Dottie Kelso Memorial Gymnasium at Lewisburg’s in what marked Ingram’s last home game.
The win earned the Tigerettes their first state tournament berth since the 2008 championship season as Ingram got to see the from the top of the mountain in her senior season.
“Coaching Demariae has been an honor, she has given this program everything she has for four years,” Steely said. “Three years ago I became the coach and she believed in me from the beginning.” “The results this team has had over her four years speak for themselves.”
Ingram, who was in the first grade in 2008, guided the Tigerettes to an impressive 34-31 win over DeKalb County in the opening round at the Murphy Center as she had eight points and seven rebounds.
“The Tigerettes won one game her freshman year, 13 her sophomore and made a region appearance, 22 as a junior and made the sub-state, and 27 as a senior with a final four state tournament appearance,” Steely said. “She grew into being the leader of the team and demanded excellence from herself and others.”
Marshall County met Westview in the final four and went toe-to-toe with the eventual runner-ups before falling 46-37.
“It was absolutely amazing even though we came up short in the end it was still great to see how we all worked together and how our hard work paid off,” Ingram said.
After the title game won by Cheatham County, Ingram was named to the Class 2A All-State Tournament team and was invited to play in the Basketball Coaches Association of Tennessee All-Star post-season game at Blackman High School last weekend where Ingram scored 15 points.
“I was not expecting it, but I was extremely proud and it was a great achievement and experience to be a part of,” Ingram said about the all-star game invitation.
Ingram, who sports a hefty 3.3 G.P.A. at Marshall County, is entertaining some offers to play basketball in college where she wants to study animal biology and become a veterinarian technician after graduation.
“Demariae definitely has the talent to compete and play at the next level and she is looking at her options at this time,” Steely said. “I hope Demariae can take the lessons she learned playing basketball for the Tigerettes and apply them in her life.”
“I look for her to find success and happiness because she knows that working hard and having goals will allow her to. She has become a Tigerette great and a part of my family. Simply put, I love her.”
2019 Class AA All-Tournament Team
Marshall County: Demariae Ingram.
Macon County: Keeley Carter, Jalynn Gregory.
Cheatham County: Alli Douglas, Eryn Nelson, MVP Abbi Douglas, Emmy Nelson.
Westview: Zanasha Gadlen, Alexis Callins, Reagan Johnson.
Basketball Coaches Association of Tennessee All-Star Game Roster
Jaida Bond, Blackman
Tondrianna Davis, Mt. Juliet
Lauren Flowers, Stewarts Creek
Aislynn Hayes, Riverdale
Jalyn Holcomb, Riverdale
Demariae Ingram, Marshall Co.
Olivia Perry, Oakland
Macy Rippy, Rossview
Ryann Roberts, Dickson Co.
Nia Vanzant, Blackman
Coach: Cory Barrett, Lebanon