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Lady Fighting Tigers get started too late

CHILLICOTHE — Someone changed the starting time of the Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers game.

They did.

Tip-off was at 7:30 Wednesday night, but Ironton didn’t start playing until about 9 o’clock. Although the Lady Tigers played well when they got started, it wasn’t enough as the Chillicothe Lady Cavaliers escaped with a 57-53 Southeastern Ohio Athletic League win.

“I don’t know what was wrong with us. We played too passive for most of the game. We didn’t start playing until the end of the third quarter,” Ironton coach Doug Graham said.

Ironton fell behind by 13 points in the third quarter before storming back to tie the game twice in the final 44 seconds. But the Lady Tigers top two players— Jessica Waddle and Mandi Boykin — fouled out during the final stretch and the Chillicothe made some key shots to get the win.

Ironton is now 12-3 on the season and 8-1 in the SEOAL South Division, one game ahead of Chillicothe (11-4, 7-2).

Jessica Waddle, who finished with 26 points including five 3-pointers, led the late comeback with 17 second half points.

Ironton was down 37-27 going into the fourth quarter. A conventional 3-point play by Waddle with 3:30 left cut the deficit to 46-43, but Waddle was whistled for her fifth foul with 50 seconds to go and Ironton completed its comeback without her.

A trey by Mercedes Crockrel with 44 seconds to play tied the game at 50-50. Megan Lee converted her own 3-point play with 22 seconds left to put Chillicothe up 53-50, but Kayla Wileman hit a clutch 3-pointer got Ironton even again with just 10 seconds on the clock.

Lee drove and Boykin was called for her fifth foul with three seconds left. She made both shots for a 55-53 lead.

Ironton fumbled the inbounds play and the Lady Cavaliers Shiann Ray threw in a meaningless 10-footer at the buzzer to set the final score.

“We didn’t play well early and we missed a ton of layups. If we just make our layups we could have won by 10 or 12 points,” Graham said.

Chillicothe was able to make its layups. The Lady Cavaliers were 20 of 36 from the field for a sizzling 55.6 percent. The Lady Tigers were just 19 of 54 from the floor for 35.2 percent.

Ironton had three league games left including Saturday night at home against Athens. The Lady Tigers can clinch the division title by winning out.

Ironton5121026=53

Chillicothe10141320=57

IRONTON (12-3, 8-1): Jessica Waddle 3 5 4-6 25, Mercedes Crockrel 2 1 0-2 7, Kayla Wileman 1 2 0-0 8, Mandi Boykin 3 0 0-0 6, Rachel Walker 0 0 1-2 1, Michelle Pancake 1 0 0-0 2, Sami Morgan 1 0 0-0 2, Jessica Weaver 0 0 0-0 0, Brea Tackett 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-54

5-10

53. 3-point goals: 8-20. Fouls: 21. Fouled out: Waddle (4th 0:50, Boykin 4th 0:03). Rebounds: 7-10=17 (Boykin 7, Walker 3). Team rebounds: 5. Assists: 5 (Boykin 4). Steals: 12 (Boykin 5, Waddle 3). Turnovers: 14. Blocked shots: Waddle 1.

CHILLICOTHE (11-4, 7-2): Megan Lee 5 0 3-3 13, Hannah Day 4 0 4-4 12, Jasmine Vinson 4 0 4-8 12, Monique Lee 2 1 2-3 9, Shiann Ray 4 0 1-1 9, Whitney Lynch 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 20-36

14-19

57. 3-point goals: 1-3. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 5-26=31 (Day 11, Vinson 8, Mo. Lee 6). Team rebounds: 6. Assists: 8 (Me. Lee 6). Steals: 6 (Ray 3). Turnovers: 24. Blocked shots: Ray 1.

RESERVES: Ironton 30, Chillicothe 19. Ironton scoring leaders: Janie Morris 6, Lorna Ceasar 6, Brea Tackett 5, Cortney Rister 4. Chillicothe: Venessa Montgomery 6, Brittny Strawson 5.