Former Greenville coach reaches quarterfinals

By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 10:21 am on Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Big Rapids varsity boys basketball coach Kent Ingles on the sideline during a game at Lakeview last year. Ingles coached varsity basketball at Greenville High School from 1978-2002.

BIG RAPIDS — Kent Ingles has an extensive basketball coaching resume.

Last Wednesday night, the former Greenville Yellow Jackets boys varsity coach (1978-2002) added to his resume, which includes hundreds of wins, conference, district and regional championships.

Ingles guided the Big Rapids Cardinals to its second consecutive regional title with a  57-45 win over Saginaw Swan Valley at Pinconning High School.

With the win, the Cardinals improved to 20-4 overall. They will face the Cadillac Vikings in the Class B quarterfinals tonight at Ferris State University.

Big Rapids lost four starters from last year’s 24-2 squad, but have found themselves facing the Vikings in the same game at the same location for a second consecutive year.

This year, the Cardinals will be looking for its first trip to the Breslin Center and the state semifinals.

“We have a real good one back in Quinn Tyson. He has carried most of the load for us offensively,” Ingles said. “But we have about seven other kids on a given night that can score for us. We are pretty balanced after that, too.”

Tyson — a three-year varsity player — averages more than 24 points per game and has topped the 1,300 point mark for his career. Tyson has already committed to play in college for Ferris State University.

Jake Hayes, a point guard, averages around 10 points per game.

“It’s been pretty balanced this year,” Ingles said. “These kids played against the outstanding team we had last year. They played against them every day and got better last year. We have fed off of that a little bit.”

Last year, the Cardinals defeated Sparta in the regional final, but fell to Cadillac in the quarter finals (41-29).

Cadillac (18-6) defeated Mason County Central (46-42) last week to win its fourth consecutive regional title. Jalen Brooks led the way with 21 points.

“They lost some players from last year, but they still have Jalen Brooks, who has verballed to play quarterback at Ferris next year,” Ingles said. “They always play good defense. They are a little bit like us with Jalen being back and surrounded with a good group of kids.”

A key to this year game will hitting some more shots.

“Last year we missed 22 shots from six feet in, so we have to put the ball in the hole,” Ingles said. “D’Angelo (Williams) plays hard and has to rebound for us. He didn’t play basketball for the first time until his junior season. Demetri Martin is our other rebounder and he is a freshman. They have solidified us and done a good job rebounding and blocking a few shots. Coming into the season we did not have a lot of experience.”

Ingles has gone 116-16 the past six years in Big Rapids. During that time, the Cardinals have won four conference titles (Lakeview won the CSAA this year), three district and two regional titles. They completed the 2008-09 regular season a perfect 20-0.

As coach of the Yellow Jackets, Ingles won 307 games before retiring following the 2002 season. After a year away from coaching, Ingles took the job in Big Rapids. Greenville won district titles in 1980 and 1983, but never won a regional title under Ingles.

“At Greenville we always went Class A and we were the smallest Class A school for 14 years,” Ingles said. “We were good enough to make a really, really good run in Class B, but ended up playing a school with like 3,000 students. It is what it is.”

Ingles also coached at Cedar Springs and took the Red Hawks to a regional championship in one of his two seasons there.

The winner of tonight’s game will face the winner of Benton Harbor/Wyoming Godwin Heights in the state semifinals on Friday night. The Class B state championship game is Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

Tonight’s tipoff is at 7 p.m.

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