Lady Fighting Tigers run to district title

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 3, 2006

WAVERLY — “If you wanna win it, there’s no speed limit. Just go faster, faster don’t be slow, rev it up ‘til your engine blows.”

Shania Twain sang it and the Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers played it over and over again Friday night.

Utilizing their speed advantage, Ironton turned up its running game as the Lady Fighting Tigers raced past the Lynchburg Clay Lady Mustangs 62-43 to win the Division III district championship.

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“We wanted to get the ball out and run. We felt we had more team speed and we wanted to make it a fullcourt game,” Ironton coach Amy Hughes said. “(Heather) Stagge shoots the ball well around the basket, so we wanted to get her running and get them out of their halfcourt set.”

Ironton was able to make its game plan work most of the game. With the exception of the third quarter when Ironton ran well but couldn’t slow Stagge who scored 10 of her 21 points, the running game and pressure defense were the keys to a second straight district title.

Fueling the running game were Jessica Waddle with 19 points and Mandi Boykin with 13 points. Boykin sat out part of the second quarter with foul trouble.

“Our plan was to rebound and get down the floor with our fastbreak,” guad Jessica Waddle said. “Our game works better when Mandi is in the game. She makes things happen.”

Boykin not only scored, but pushed the ball down the court where she fed teammates for six assists.

“Coach (Hughes) just told me to step up and be a leader. We all worked together and we worked hard,” Boykin said.

Ironton is now 22-2 with the win and will play in the regional semifinals at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Lancaster High School against the winner of Oak Hill and Northwest.

The win also avenged a 48-43 loss to Lynchburg in the district finals three years ago.

Senior Sara Hacker, who had nine points and six rebounds, was a starter in the first meeting and scored 11 points. However, she said revenge was not a motivating factor.

“We just wanted to win. It was just like another game really,” Hacker said. “A lot of people doubted us because we lost (Andrea) Rudmann and (Sarah) Cartmell. We all have different roles this season and we’re making it work.”

Waddle set the tone with a steal and layup just 19 seconds into the game. Three more steals including a second by Waddle for a layup gave Ironton a 9-2 lead to open the game.

Stagge scored six points as the Mustangs closed to within 11-10. Boykin then sliced through the defense for a layup with three seconds on the clock and a 13-10 lead.

The defense held Lynchburg (20-4) to only a 3-point field goal by Wendy Martin in the second quarter as the Lady Fighitng Tigers took a 25-13 halftime lead.

“We played well defensively. Lynchburg is a good team or they wouldn’t be in the district finals and Stagge is a good player. To hold them to 43 points is a credit to our girls,” Hughes said.

Stagge hit a trey with 5:17 left in the third quarter that cut Ironton’s lead to 30-23. But a three-point play by Boykin gave Ironton a 41-25 lead and Ciara Taylor’s putback to finish the quarter opened up a 47-30 cushion.

The lead grew to as much as 19 points in the fourth quarter including the final score.



IRONTON (22-2): Jessica Waddle 5-16 (0-0) 9-9 19, Danielle Henderson 4-6 (0-0) 0-0 8, Mandi Boykin 5-8 (0-0) 3-4 13, Ciara Taylor 2-5 (0-0) 0-0 4, Sara Hacker 4-9 (0-2) 1-2 9, Mercedes Crockrel 1-4 (0-0) 0-0 2, Kayla Wileman 2-2 (1-1) 0-1 5, Rachel Walker 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0, Ashley Moritz 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0, Sami Morgan 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0, Edi Taylor 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0, Jessica Weaver 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0, Kathleen Baker 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0. Totals: 23-51



62. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 17-23=40 (C. Taylor 10, Boykin 8, Hacker 6, Waddle 6, Henderson 4). Team/deadball rebounds: 0. Assists: 9 (Boykin 6, Waddle 2, Hacker 1). Steals: 9 (Waddle 3, Hacker 2, Henderson 2). Turnovers: 19.

LYNCHBURG CLAY (20-4): Dani Mount 1-7 (0-3) 0-0 2, Felicia Croy 0-2 (0-0) 0-1 0, Kara Chalfin 0-1 (0-1) 0-0 0, Heather Stagge 8-17 (3-5) 2-3 21, Lauren King 2-4 (0-0 0-0 4, Wendy Martin 6-11 (1-3) 0-1 13, Kelsey Lewis 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0, Desi Mount 1-6 (1-4) 0-0 3, Amber Smith 0-1 (0-1) 0-0 0, Jamie Davidson 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0. Totals: 17-48



43. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 5-10=15 (Martin 5, Stagge 4, Croy 3). Team/deadball rebounds: 5. Assists: 8 (Martin 2, Croy 2). Steals: 8 (Martin 4). Turnovers: 15.