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Short-handed Lady Tigers fall in district

WAVERLY — This was a case of Murphy’s Law extended.

Murphy’s Law of “Whatever can go wrong, will” added “Whatever can go wrong before things even start will” for the Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers as they fell 82-59 to the Alexander Lady Spartans Wednesday in the Division III district finals.

Ironton lost leading scorer Jessica Waddle to a season-ending knee injury in last week’s semifinal win. The woes continued as sixth man Michelle Pancake played sparingly due to walking pneumonia and backup guard Sami Morgan was suffering from strep throat.

“We were the walking wounded,” Ironton coach Doug Graham said.

The young and inexperienced Lady Tigers lineup committed 27 turnovers — 19 in the first half as they fell behind 45-30.

Ironton was also plagued by foul trouble. The Lady Fighting Tigers were called for 24 fouls to just 14 for Alexander which pressed and played man-to-man the entire game. The Lady Spartans were 25 of 37 at the foul line and Ironton just 12 of 16.

“Jessica is our leading scorer, second leading rebounder and guards one of the other team’s best players. Everybody knows it hurts us. We hoped someone would step up but we didn’t get it done,” Graham said.

“Replacing Jessica meant girls doing things they don’t usually do for an extended period of time. We didn’t have a lot of experience coming back (this season).”

The Lady Fighting Tigers (16-7) did have senior point guard Mandi Boykin in the lineup and she scored 27 points as she surpassed 1,000 career points. She ends her career with a 1,018 total.

Boykin also had 11 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. Brea Tackett added 12 points.

Alexander’s Keilee Guthrie scored 34 points — most of which came with Ironton center Rachel Walker sitting out in foul trouble — as she hit four 3-pointers and went 14 of 15 at the line.

Whitney Smith had 15 points and Jami Turrill 14 for the Lady Spartans (22-2).

“We knew going in we couldn’t get in foul trouble when we were low on manpower,” Graham said. “We fell behind and we got caught up trying to get it all back at one time.”

The lead changed hands six times until midway through the first quarter when Guthrie came off a screen and hit a 3-pointer. Amy Smith hit from 15, Turrill got another trey and Guthrie made three foul shots for a 20-10 lead.

Boykin had a steal that she converted into a 3-point play and Walker’s layup off a pass from Boykin made it 201-5.

Boykin’s 8-footer began the second quarter and it was 20-17, but Alexander went on an 8-0 run for a 28-17 lead.

Ironton was within 12 points for times late in the quarter but Guthrie’s 3-pointer with six seconds left opened up a 45-30 lead.

The Lady Fighting Tigers never got any closer than 15 points and Alexander led by as many as 28.

Alexander20251621=82

Ironton15151118=59

ALEXANDER (22-2): Whitney Smith 6 0 3-4 15, Jami Turrill 5 1 1-7 14, Keilee Guthrie 4 4 14-15 34, Amy Smith 1 0 2-4 4, Lauren Raines 1 0 0-0 2, Kara Endick 0 0 2-2 2, Kathy Kasler 0 0 0-0 0, Kaitlyn Guthrie 0 0 0-0 0, Jenni Pyle 0 0 0-0 0, Heather McClain 0 0 0-0 0, Lacey Shaulis 2 0 3-4 7. Totals: 25-51

25-37

82. 3-point goals: 5-14. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 9-23=32 (A. Smith 9, Guthrie 7, W. Smith 6). Team rebounds: 7. Assists: 11 (Amy Smith 3, Turrill 3). Steals: 14 (W. Smith 4, Raines 4). Turnovers: 16. Blocked shots: None.

IRONTON (16-7): Mercedes Crockrel 2 0 2-2 6, Kayla Wileman 3 0 0-0 6, Mandi Boykin 8 1 8-10 27, Brea Tackett 3 2 0-0 12, Rachel Walker 1 0 0-0 2, Michelle Pancake 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, Janie Morris 1 0 0-0 2, Lorna Ceasar 0 0 1-2 1. Totals: 22-63

12-16

59. 3-point goals: 3-18. Fouls: 24. Fouled out: Walker (4th 4:18, Wileman (4th 3:48), Morgan (4th 2:25). Rebounds: 12-23=35 (Boykin 11, Crockrel 5, Walker 4, Morgan 4). Assists: 4 (Boykin 2, Morgan, Crockrel). Steals: 8 (Boykin 3, Walker, Tackett, Crockrel, Morgan, Morris). Turnovers: 27. Blocked shots: 5 (Boykin 2, Walker 1, Tackett 1, Crockrel 1).