Lady Tigers defense faces big test against Mustangs

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Trying to figure out how to stop the Lynchburg Clay Lady Mustangs seems Stagge-ring.

That’s the way Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers head coach Amy Hughes must feel as her teams prepares for Friday’s Division III district championship game against the Lady Mustangs at Waverly High School’s downtown arena.

Heather Stagge, Lynchburg’s 5-foot-9 senior forward, is a threat from everywhere on the court. She is averaging 16.5 points a game and includes 17 3-pointers.

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Stagge scored 25 points in a 62-32 win over Chesapeake and 12 in a 60-41 win over South Point as she got in foul trouble. Stagge was in foul trouble against South Point, so Kara Chalfin scored 19 points.

“It’s hard to defend Stagge because she can score around the basket and she can take you out on the perimeter,” Hughes said. “To compound things, they have some other players who can shoot inside and outside, so it causes all kinds of matchup problems.”

Wendy Martin, a 5-7 junior guard, is second on the team with a 10.7 scoring average. Dani Mount and Desi Mount like to shoot from behind the arc along with Felicia Croy who averages 4.7 points a game.

Lauren King, a 6-foot center, averages 7.0 points a game and is a strong rebounder.

“When you put King and Stagge inside together it poses quite a problem trying to keep them off the boards,” Hughes said.

Not only will rebounding be a key for Ironton, so will the Lady Tigers’ defense. Ironton must slow down the Lady Mustangs offense.

Lynchburg, 20-3 on the season, is averaging 62 points a game. Ironton has allowed an average of just 35 points a game. However, the only two games teams scored 50 or more points against Ironton resulted in losses,at Russell, Ky., and at Oak Hill.

Ironton averages 54.4 points a game.

“The key for us all year has been our defense and this game will be no different. If we can’t slow them down, then we’ll have a hard time winning,” Hughes said.

The two teams met one other time in 2003 when Lynchburg won 47-43 in the district semifinals.

Two Ironton players remain from the first meeting, seniors Sara Hacker and Danielle Henderson. Both played in the game with Hacker scoring 11 points.

Hacker, a starter as a freshman, and Henderson will start Friday along with senior Ciara Taylor, junior point guard Mandi Boykin and sophomore guard Jessica Waddle.