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Lady Fighting Tigers hold off Jackson, 45-44

JACKSON — For 27 minutes, the Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers were in control.

Now, as for those last five minutes …

Ironton’s defense held the Jackson Ironladies to just 8 points in each of the first three quarters. They remained on a similar pace by giving up 5 points over the first three minutes of the fourth quarter.

That’s when Jackson began to go away from its usual offense and do what it normally doesn’t do, shoot 3-pointers. And unlike the results in other games, Jackson began to make those shots.

But the Lady Fighting Tigers were able to withstand the wild finish and edged Jackson 45-44 Wednesday in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League game.

“We played great defense for three and a half quarters, and then they just started hitting some shots,” Ironton coach Doug Graham said. “But our girls kept their composure and battled through it and hit a couple of big shots.”

The big shots were a couple of free throws by Jessica Waddle. She made the second of two attempts with 1:15 left to give Ironton a 44-39 lead.

Jackson got a layup by Jarin Wasch and then Sara Radekin banked in a 3-pointer from the right wing to tie the game with 47 seconds to play.

Waddle was fouled again and hit the first of two free throws with 34 seconds on the clock and it was 45-44.

Jackson played for the final shot, but Radekin’s 15-footer bounced off strong to the right and bounced to the floor as time expired.

Waddle, Ironton’s leading scorer, finished with just 8 points after sitting out part of the second quarter and most of the second half in foul trouble.

But picking up the slack for Ironton were the Lady Tigers two seniors Mandi Boykin and Rachel Walker.

Boykin had 9 points, 10 assists, 8 steals and 4 rebounds. Walker had her biggest scoring output of the season with 10 points to go with 3 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.

“Mandi and Rachel really stepped it up for us. Mandi made some big plays and Rachel played her best game of the season, especially since we had several girls in foul trouble,” Graham said.

Mercedes Crockrel led Ironton with 14 points but sat out parts of the second half in foul trouble.

Wasch led Jackson with 22 points.

Ironton is now 10-2 overall and leads the SEOAL South Division at 8-0. Jackson is 7-6 and 3-5.

Ironton jumped out to a 10-0 lead and it was 16-8 at the end of the quarter on a putback by Boykin at the buzzer.

The Lady Tigers were only 2 of 10 from the field in the second quarter and led just 22-16 at the half.

Back-to-back baskets by Crockrel and a baseline shot by Brea Tackett gave Ironton a 35-22, but Kelsey Martin’s basket got Jackson within 35-24 at the end of the third quarter.

A baseline jumper by Sami Morgan and a layup by Walker off a nice pass from Boykin opened up a 43-29 lead with 4:53 to play.

Jackson — 4 of 5 on 3-point goal attempts in the quarter — got treys from Brittany Christian and Radekin to trail 43-37 and set up the wild finish.

Ironton1661310=45

Jackson88820=44

IRONTON (10-2, 8-0): Jessica Waddle 0 2 2-4 8, Mercedes Crockrel 6 0 2-3 14, Mandi Boykin 2 0 5-7 9, Michelle Pancake 0 0 0-0 0, Rachel Walker 5 0 0-0 10, Jessica Weaver 0 0 0-0 0, Sami Morgan 1 0 0-0 2, Kayla Wileman 0 0 0-0 0, Brea Tackett 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 17-35

9-14

45. 3-point goals: 2-4. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 7-7=14 (Boykin 4, Crockrel 4, Walker 3). Assists: 12 (Boykin 10). Steals: 12 (Boykin 8). Turnovers: 15. Blocked shots: 4 (Walker 3).

JACKSON (7-6, 3-5): Sara Radekin 0 2 0-0 6, Jarin Wasch

7 2 2-2 22, Brittany Christian 0 1 0-0 3, Candace Chapman 0 0 2-2 2, Kaley Fulks 0 0 1-2 1, Kelsey Martin 2 0 0-0 4, Sharissa Cooper 0 0 0-0 0, Tara Fenwick 0 0 0-0 0, Ashley Spriggs 3 0 0-0 6. Totals: 17-37

5-6

44. 3-point goals: 5-8. Fouls: 7. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 6-11=17 (Wasch 5). Team rebounds: 3. Assists:

5 (Christian 2). Steals: 7 (Wasch 4). Turnovers: 19. Blocked shots: 1 (Chapman).

RESERVES: Ironton 32, Jackson 30. Ironton scoring leaders: Janie Morris 10, Sami Morgan 7, Emily Lilly 6, Carie Rister game-winning basket at buzzer. Jackson leaders: Kara Stiffler 14.