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Lady Tigers ride by Lady Bulldogs

There is no truth to the rumor that the Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers plan to replace “The Beast” as the new rollercoaster ride at Kings’ Island.

Ironton continued it’s up and down play Saturday with a 55-43 win over the Athens Lady Bulldogs in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League game.

“I don’t know what it is,” Ironton coach Doug Graham said. “We’ll play well and get a big lead, then we just seem to relax. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s just the personality of this team. I don’t know. But we need to raise our intensity level and keep it up.”

The Lady Tigers had a 16-point lead in the first quarter and led by as many as 18 in the second quarter before settling on a 30-16 halftime lead.

Leading by as many as 20 in the fourth quarter, Athens managed to cut the deficit to 8 before Ironton opened up a safe cushion.

Graham said the college scouts are getting to see how the ride works, but so far they have enjoyed what they’ve seen.

“We’ve had college scouts at almost every game. But when I talk to them afterwards, they always seem impressed with our players. We’re 13-3, so we must be doing something right,” Graham said.

Mandi Boykin had 22 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals to lead Ironton. Jessica Waddle had another solid offensive game with 17 points and 5 rebounds.

The Lady Tigers outrebounded Athens 31-19 with Michelle Pancake pulling down 7 boards and Rachel Walker cleaning the glass for 5.

“We did a good job at times on defense and rebounding, but there were other times we just went to sleep or we didn’t rotate when Athens set a pick,” Graham said.

Ironton is now 13-3 overall and 10-1 in the SEOAL South Division. Coupled with Warren’s 72-40 win over Chillicothe Saturday, the Lady Tigers have clinched at least a tie for the division title.

Cara Grippa led Athens ( 6-11, 3-8) with 18 points — 9 in the final quarter — and 8 rebounds.

Ironton raced out of the starting gate to take an 18-2 lead and it was 18-6 at the end of the quarter.

Boykin hit two foul shots and converted a 3-point play to put the lead at 27-9 midway through the quarter. Grippa’s long 3-pointer just before the buzzer made it 30-16 at the break.

A layup by Waddle extended the lead to 40-21 with 1:31 left in the third quarter. Robin Marley’s 10-footer got Athens within 40-23 heading into the fourth quarter.

A tip-in by Walker, a foul shot by Boykin and two layups by Waddle gave Ironton its biggest lead at 47-27 with five minutes left.

But Athens got a 3-pointer from Abie Salyer with 2:10 to play that cut the spread to 47-39.

Boykin made two straight layups only to have Salyer hit a 3-pointer with 1:16 on the clock. But Pancake’s layup and two free throws by Boykin with 38 seconds left sealed the win.

Athens610720=43

Ironton18121015=55

ATHENS (6-11, 3-8): Robin Marley 3-5 0-2 6, Rebecca Grippa 0 0 1-4 1, Abie Salyer 2 1 1-1 8, Cara Grippa 6 1 3-3 18, Elizabeth Russell 1 0 0-1 2, Beth Nostrant 2 0 1-2 , Rebecca Hawranick 0 0 0-0 0, Grace Nelson 0 0 0-0 0, Shelby Letherman 0 0 0-0 0, Kelsey Mathias 1 0 1-2 3. Totals: 17-45

7-15

43. 3-point goals: 2-7. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 3-16=19 (C. Grippa 8). Team rebounds: 7. Assists: 5 (R. Grippa 3). Steals: 10 (R. Grippa 4, Salyer 3). Blocked shots: 2 (R. Grippa 1, C. Grippa 1). Turnovers: 25.

IRONTON (13-3, 10-1): Jessica Waddle 6 1 2-2 17, Mandi Boykin 7 0 8-11 22, Sami Morgan 0 0 0-0 0, Michelle Pancake 2 0 2-5 6, Rachel Walker 2 0 0-2 4, Brea Tackett 2 0 0-0 4, Edi Taylor 0 0 0-0 0, Janie Morris 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-47

14-23

55. 3-point goals: 1-8. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 8-23=31 (Boykin 9, Pancake 7, Waddle 5, Walker 5). Assists: 5 (Boykin 4). Steals: 11 (Boykin 4, Pancake 4). Blocked shots: 5 (Boykin 4, Walker 1). Turnovers: 24.

RESERVES: Athens 27, Ironton 23. Ironton scoring leaders: Edi Taylor 10, Janie Morris 7. Athens leaders: Whitney Dickens 13, Raven Cline 9.