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Lady Tigers win South title

GALLIPOLIS — You might Dance with Wolves, but don’t Run with Tigers.

Especially Lady Fighting Tigers.

Ironton ran up and down the floor on offense and used a sticky defense to blitz the Gallipolis Blue Angels 69-37 Wednesday and clinch the South Division title the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League.

Ironton (14-5, 11-2) will now play at 8 p.m. Saturday at Jackson for the SEOAL championship against the North Division champion, either Warren, Marietta or Logan.

“We didn’t get off to a very good start, but once we got going we played pretty well. That’s as well as we’ve played for four quarters in a long time,” Ironton coach Doug Graham said.

While Gallipolis was focusing its defense on stopping Mandi Boykin, the rest of the offense got rolling behind the scoring of Jessica Waddle, Mercedes Crockrel and Kayla Wileman.

Waddle scored 16 of her game-high 23 points in the second half. Crockrel had 14 of her 16 points in the first half and Wileman finished with 10 points.

Gallipolis (6-13, 2-11) was led by Brittany Elliott with 12 points.

Elliott hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored 8 points as Gallipolis jumped out to an 11-3 lead with 6:06 on the clock.

But it was all Ironton after that.

Wileman’s 10-footer, two baskets by Waddle, a 19-footer by Brea Tackett and a free throw by Crockrel put Ironton up 12-11.

Alexis Geiger hit a short jumper to give Gallipolis its last lead at 13-12 with 34 seconds on the clock only to have Tackett hit a layup and Ironton led 14-13.

“Gallipolis always starts fast so we knew we had to keep our composure and tighten our defense,” Graham said.

Crockrell scored 11 points in the second quarter and Ironton went on a 12-2 run to begin the quarter for a 26-15 lead.

Back-to-back baskets by Crockrel to close the half pushed the Ironton lead to 32-21.

The Lady Tigers defense held Gallipolis without a field goal in the third quarter — Geiger was 3 of 4 at the line — and the offense hit 8 of 10 shots to build a 51-24 cushion.

Waddle scored Ironton’s first 8 points of the fourth quarter as the lead went to 59-26 with 5:28 left and Graham began to empty his bench. Ironton’s biggest lead was 67-31 on a basket by Janie Morris with 2:13 to go.

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IRONTON (14-5, 11-2): Jessica Waddle 7 1 6-10 23, Mercedes Crockrel 7 0 2-4 16, Kayla Wileman 5 0 0-2 10, Mandi Boykin 1 0 2-3 4, Rachel Walker 0 0 0-0 0, Michelle Pancake 0 0 0-0 0, Jessica Weaver 0 0 0-0 0, Sami Morgan 0 0 0-0 0, Brea Tackett 3 0 2-4 8, Edi Taylor 0 0 0-0 0, Janie Morris 2 0 2-2 6, Lorna Ceasar 0 0 2-2 2. Totals: 26-51

16-27

69. 3-point goals: 1-8. Fouls: 23. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 12-21=33 (Crockrel 11, Walker 5, Boykin 4). Team rebounds: 5. Assists: 4 (Boykin 2). Steals: 5 (Pancake 2). Turnovers: 14. Blocked shots: 7 (Walker 3, Crockrel 2, Boykin 1, Wileman 1).

GALLIPOLIS (6-13, 2-11): Alexis Geiger 1 0 6-8 8, Brittany Elliott 2 2 2-4 12, Ryann Leslie 1 0 0-0 2, Lindsey Niday 1 0 0-3 2, Rachel Jones 0 0 1-4 1, Amy Noe 1 0 0-1 2, Amber Campbell 0 0 0-0 0, Leah Cummons 1 0 0-0 2, Kara Jackson 0 0 0-0 0, Kimber Davis 0 1 0-0 3, Toni Logan 0 0 0-0 0, Jessica Dingess 1 0 0-0 2, Allie Troester 0 0 3-4 3. Totals: 12-46

12-24

37. 3-point goals: 3-11. Fouls: 20. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 12-15=27 (Niday 6, Leslie 5). Team rebounds: 5. Assists: 4. Steals: 5. Turnovers: 18. Blocked shots: None.

RESERVES: Gallipolis 30, Ironton 23. Ironton leading scorers: Carie Rister 6, Lorna Ceasar 6, Edi Taylor 5, Brea Tackett 4, Emily Lilly 2. Gallipolis: Tonia Logan 9, Brea Close 7, Mollie Blake 7.