Lady Tigers advance on Boykin#8217;s buzzer beater

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 3, 2006

LANCASTER — Mandi Boykin’s word is as good as gold.

With Ironton trailing 32-31 and just 4.9 seconds on the clock, Boykin told Lady Fighting Tigers coach to give her the ball and she would make the shot.

Hughes called Boykin’s number and the junior point guard answered by racing the length of the floor and putting up a 10-foot runner that dropped through the net as the clock hit zero, thus giving Ironton a thrilling 33-32 win over the Oak Hill Lady Oaks in the Division III regional semifinals.

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“We work on this situation in practice all the time,” Hughes said. “Mandi wanted to take the shot. She said she’d hit it. She really concentrated. She followed it into the hole. It was a great win for our program.”

Boykin, much like the entire Ironton team, had struggled from the field. She was without a field goal on five attempts and had only six foul shots to her credit. But Boykin was confident as she took one of her patented running layups.

“Danielle (Henderson) set a screen and I went the length of the floor. I took off running and made it. I was lucky,” Boykin said.

The clutch shot means Ironton (23-2) will play in the regional championship at 1:30 p.m. Saturday against Sugarcreek Garaway with a trip to the state tournament at stake. Garaway beat Columbus Ready 56-40 in the first game.

Ironton had a chance to put the game away earlier but missed three foul shots over the last 39 seconds left.

Missed shots were a problem the entire game for both teams. Ironton was just 10 of 41 from the field and leading scorer Jessica Waddle missed her first 12 shots before making two clutch baskets in the fourth quarter.

Oak Hill was only 12 of 48 from the floor.

“We didn’t expect them to play zone. (Oak Hill coach) Doug Hale has played nothing but man-to-man defense for 15 years,” Hughes said.

“We had plenty of open shots and we took good shots, we were just rushing ourselves. I think we were just nervous. Our defense was pretty good. Oak Hill had to take contested shots. The had to go left or try to hit spinning around.”

The first quarter was an indication of the pace of the game as Oak Hill took an 8-7 lead on a baseline jumper by Annah Ruff with two seconds on the clock.

Ruff made two baskets to open the second quarter and give the Lady Oaks (19-6) their biggest lead of the game at 12-7.

Ironton got an 18-footer from Henderson, a free throw by Boykin and a layup by Sara Hacker at the 1:01 mark and the game was tied at 12.

The Lady Fighting Tigers were 3 of 18 from the field in the first half.

“To shoot as bad the first half as we did and be tied 12-12, we felt pretty good. We were patient and started to find the open man and hit some shots (in the second half),” Hughes said.

Boykin said the team stayed focused on its game plan.

“Coach told us to just keep playing defense and rebounding and if we did that we’d win,” Boykin said.

Four points by Hacker had Ironton up 16-14 early in the third quarter. Keisa Davis made a layup to tie the game only to have Henderson nail a 15-footer and Boykin sank two foul shots at the 1:46 mark as Ironton went up 20-16.

“They kept talking trash to me and that got me fired up. I was more confident in the second half,” Hacker said.

Waddle hit a 19-footer to put Ironton ahead 22-19 only to have Davis hit a 3-pointer to tie the game.

A trey by Waddle with 5:53 to play put Ironton up 25-24 and Hacker’s shot barely with a foot on the 3-point line extended the lead to 27-24.

Waddle hit the front end of a one-and-one with 39 seconds to play for a 30-28 lead. Davis was fouled and hit two free throws wit 13 seconds left to tie the game.

Oak Hill fouled Waddle on the inbounds play and she made one more free throw with 11 seconds to go and it was 31-30.

Ruff was fourl with 4.9 seconds left and hit both free throws to give Oak Hill its first lead since the second quarter.

However, after an Ironton timeout Boykin went coast-to-coast

for her dramatic shot and she was swarmed by her teammates and the Ironton fans who poured onto the floor.

Hacker led Ironton with 10 points and seven rebounds. Waddle had nine points and six rebounds and Boykin eight points, five rebounds and six assists.

Henderson’s defense limited Oaks leading scorer Davis to 11 points.

“Coach told me to give (Davis) space and don’t let her drive and contest her 3’s. My teammates helped me with the picks,” Henderson said.

Oak Hill84416=32


OAK HILL (19-6): Annah Ruff 4-7 (0-0) 2-2 10, Lacey Adkins 1-4 (0-1) 0-0 0, Keisa Davis 4-20 (1-11) 2-2 13, Kaylin Marshall 2-8 (0-0) 0-0 4, Jill Phillips 1-8 (1-3) 0-0 3, Kayla Moore 0-1 (0-1) 0-0 0, Molly Ruff 0-1 (0-0) 0-0 0. Totals: 12-48



32. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: Davis (4th 0:11). Rebounds: 12-18=28 (Marshall 12, Phillips 5, A. Ruff 4, Davis 4). Team/deadball rebounds: 12. Assists: 3 (Davis 2, A. Ruff 1). Steals: 5 (Adkins 2). Turnovers: 10. Blocked shots: Davis 1.

IRONTON (23-2): Jessica Waddle 2-14 (1-2) 4-6 9, Danielle Henderson 3-5 (0-0) 0-0 6, Mandi Boykin 1-6 (0-0) 6-9 8, Ciara Taylor 0-1 (0-0) 0-0 0, Sara Hacker 4-14 (0-4) 2-4 10, Mercedes Crockrel 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0, Kayla Wileman 0-1 (0-0) 0-0 0. Totals: 10-41



33. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 6-21=27 (Hacker 7, Waddle 6, Boykin 5, Taylor 5, Henderson 4). Team/deadball rebounds: 7. Assists: 8 (Boykin 6). Steals: 5 (Hacker 2, Waddle 2, Henderson 1). Turnovers: 9. Blocked shots: Boykin 1.