Tough opponents await Ironton, SP in district finals

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 28, 2005

Record records will be on the line.

The Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers and South Point Lady Pointers are both enjoying seasons that have produced school records for regular season wins.

Ironton went 19-1 and South Point 18-2, the best for their respective programs, and have since added wins as Ironton (21-1) won its second and district semifinal while South Point (20-2) did the same.

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But those records will mean nothing this weekend when the two teams seek Division III district championships.

Ironton would like nothing better than to gain some measure of revenge against Zane Trace, the team that beat them in the district semifinals last season 69-56 when the Lady Pioneers shot 51 percent.

The two teams will play at noon Saturday at Waverly's downtown arena next to the old high school. The game originally was scheduled for 7 p.m. but was changed to avoid a conflict with the Ironton boys who play at 6:30 p.m. in Athens against Piketon in the district semifinals.

South Point has a formidable challenge, too. The Lady Pointers face unbeaten and No. 1 ranked Oak Hill, last season's state runner-up, at 7 p.m. Friday at Waverly.

Ironton coach Amy Hughes said Zane Trace is a difficult challenge again, especially with coaches' District 14 Player of the Year Karen Diehl, a 5-11 senior.

Back from last season are Paige Halley, a 5-10 senior, and 5-11 Courtney Congrove as well as Rylie Hill and Shayna Cox.

"They've got four or five or their top players back and they have Diehl. She's a big, strong girl who can score inside. She's a nice player," Hughes said. "And Cox is awful good, too."

South Point must tangle with a top-flight center as well. The Lady Oaks (22-0) are led by 6-foot senior Alyssa Hammond who averages 27 points a game and has already signed with Marshall.

But Lady Pointers coach Dave Adams said Hammond gets plenty of help from Keisa Davis and Annah Ruff.

"Hammond will cause us a matchup problem, but she does for eveššryone they play," South Point coach Dave Adams said. "And they have a lot of other girls who can play. It's not a one-man team."