Lady Tigers turn on power switch

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 3, 2007

LUCASVILLE — The Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers have an “On/Off” switch. When they’re on, they’re really on. And when they’re off, well …

Ironton was really on in the second quarter and had enough left over in the second half to beat the Peebles Lady Indians 55-44 Saturday and claim the Division III sectional championship.

Leading 14-11 at the end of the first quarter, Ironton blitzed the Lady Indians 20-0 in the second quarter en route to a 34-11 halftime lead.

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“They’re capable of playing that way. It starts with defense and they can play great defense,” Ironton coach Doug Graham said. “But we have a tendency to let up during games and it gets us in trouble.”

Case in point was the third quarter when Peebles (11-8) outscored Ironton 18-10 and cut a 23-point deficit to 11 points in the fourth quarter.

“We lost our focus in the second half. But give Peebles credit. They battled,” Graham said.

Ironton scored to start the game on a layup by Mandi Boykin, but then Peebles went up 3-2 on a 3-pointer by Kayla Shoemaker, the team’s leading scorer.

It was Shoemaker’s only basket.

“We knew Shoemaker was their best athlete. She can shoot the 3s and 2s and get rebounds,” Graham said. “(Ashley Turner) and (Emily) Hoop and (Brandi) Unger can all shoot. They’re a solid team.”

Jessica Waddle hit a 3-pointer to put Ironton up for good at 7-5 with 6:33 left in the first quarter. Kayla Wileman’s trey made it 14-9 only to have Turner made a layup at the buzzer and it was 14-11.

But with Waddle hitting back-to-back

trifectas to begin the second quarter, Ironton forced eight turnovers and Peebles was 0-for-9 from the field.

Waddle had 11 points including three shots from behind the arc in the quarter and scored 18 of her 21 points in the first half.

Peebles ended its draught with a foul shot by Unger with 7:24 on the third quarter clock.

Turner also had a 3-pointer and sarah Sexton was 4 of 4 from the line as Peebles got within 44-29.

A 3-point play by Unger with 2:43 left cut the deficit to 50-39, but Mercedes Crockrel hit a baseline jumper and Wileman made two foul shots at the 1:14 mark as Ironton pushed the lead to 54-41.

Crockrel finished with 11 points while Mandi Boykin had 8 points, 9 assists and 9 rebounds.

Turner and Unger had 14 points with Sexton adding 11.

Ironton (15-6) will play Nelsonville-York at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday at Waverly’s Downtown Arena. N-Y beat Minford 82-65.