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Offensive balance keys Lady Tigers 63-49 win

PORTSMOUTH — Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers coach Doug Graham likes sharing, as long as it’s not with the opponent.

Graham had mixed emotions after Ironton’s 63-49 Southeastern Ohio Athletic League win over the Portsmouth Lady Trojans Wednesday.

“I’m happy with the way we were able to spread our offense around, but I’m not happy with our defense,” Ironton coach Doug Graham said. “We have to play better on the road. We’re not playing with intensity.”

The offensive variety had four Ironton players in double figures led by Mercedes Crockrel with 18 points. Jessica Waddle had 15 points including a crucial 3-point goal, Mandi Boykin scored 12 and Michelle Pancake had 11 before fouling out.

Both Crockrel and Pancake were in foul trouble in the first half.

Cassie Taylor scored 15 and Sydnee Jordan 14 to lead Portsmouth. Jennifer Bendolph had 10 rebounds and 8 points.

Ironton is now 8-2 on the season and leads the SEOAL South Division with a 6-0 record. Portsmouth falls to 1-10 and 0-6 in the league.

“This is a big rivalry. They shot the ball well. I’m just glad to come out with a win on the road,” Graham said.

Ironton jumped out to a 9-1 lead before Portsmouth came back to tie the game at 12-12 on a 3-pointer by Jordan. Boykin’s foul shot gave Ironton a 13-12 lead. They never relinquished.

After Pancake had 6 points in the first quarter, Crockrel had 8 points in the second quarter as Ironton went up 32-25 at the half.

A steal by Waddle led to a layup by Crockrel that gave the Lady Tigers a 44-31 lead midway through the third quarter. The Trojans used a 3-pointer by Jordan and baseline shot by Taylor to trail 46-41.

But Waddle drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer and the lead was 49-41.

Ironton kicked into gear in the fourth quarter by holding Portsmouth to just 3 of 14 shooting.

Ironton took a 56-43 lead with 5:24 left on a layup by Pancake off a nice pass from Brea Tackett and the Lady Tigers converted 4 of 6 from the line over the final 1:26 to seal the win.

On Saturday, Ironton hosts Warren which has won four straight SEOAL championships. The junior varsity begins at noon.

Ironton13191714=63

Portsmouth1213168=49

IRONTON (8-2, 6-0): Jessica Waddle 3 2 3-5 15, Mercedes Crockrel 7 0 4-5 18, Mandi Boykin 5 0 2-5 12, Michelle Pancake5 0 1-1 11, Rachel Walker 0 0 1-2 1, Jessica Weaver 0 0 0-0 0, Sami Morgan 0 0 0-0 0, Edi Taylor 0 0 0-0 0, Brea Tackett 2 0 2-2 6. Totals: 24-51

13-20

63. 3-point goals: 2-5. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: Pancake (4th 5:02). Rebounds: 8-20=28 (Waddle 8, Crockrel 6, Boykin 5). Assists: 12 (Boykin 5). Steals: 11 (Boykin 4, Tackett 3). Blocked shots: 4 (Walker 1, Boykin 1, Waddle 1, Crockrel 1). Turnovers: 14.

PORTSMOUTH (1-10, 0-6): Janae Lagrange 0 0 1-2 1, Maggee Colley 3 0 3-4 9, Sydnee Jordan 1 4 0-0 14, Jennifer Bendolph 4 0 0-2 8, Cassie Taylor 7 0 1-2 15, Ashleigh Link 0 0 0-0 0, Trista Wilson 0 0 0-0 0, Brittany Stanely 0 0 2-2 2, Missy Stelwagon 0 0 0-0 0, Rebecca Kristian 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-52

7-12

49. 3-point goals: 4-7. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 6-18=24 (Bendolph 10, Jordan 8). Assists: 2. Steals: 6 (Lagrange 3). Blocked shots: 2 (Bendolph 1, Stanley 1). Turnovers: 19.

RESERVES: Ironton 35, Portsmouth 20. Ironton scoring leaders: Edi Taylor 12, Brea Tackett 7, Carie Rister 4, Janie Morris 4, Lorna Ceasar 4. Portsmouth: Sarah Kendall 6.