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Lady Tigers claim third in SEOAL

VINCENT — There is an old clich/ that says defense is the name of the game. The Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers must really like that game.

Ironton turned in another strong defensive effort by beating the Warren Lady Warriors 50-35 Saturday to take third place in the Southeastern Athletic League Day of Champions.

“Our defense was great,” said Ironton coach Doug Graham.

“They scored 81 points on Monday. Any time you hold a team that’s capable of scoring 81 points to 35 points, you’ve done a great job defensively.”

Warren jumped out to an 8-2 lead with 5:26 left in the first quarter, but Ironton rallied to tie the game 1:58 at 10-10 and took 12-10 lead.

Jessica Waddle scored eight of Ironton’s 12 points.

Despite being riddled with foul trouble to Waddle and Michelle Pancake, the Lady Tigers managed to take a 24-21 lead at the half.

Mercedes “Benz” Crockrel scored all seven of her points in the third quarter and the defense held Marietta to just six points as the lead grew to 37-27.

Alex Taylor scored all six of her points in the fourth quarter and the defense was stingy again by allowing only eight points as the Lady Tigers continued to pull away.

“It was kind of a grind it out type of a game. They switched defenses on us, but we adjusted well,” said Graham.

Waddle scored 15 points as Ironton improved to 15-5 overall and finished 10-4 in the SEOAL. The Lady Fighting Tigers have won 11 of their last 12 games.

Brea Tackett got 10 points and a pair of steals, Pancake had nine points and eight rebounds, and Janie Morris grabbed eight rebounds.

Crockrel rolled a lucky “7” for the game with seven points, seven rebounds, and seven assists. She also had four steals and held Lakin Horner to seven points..

Mallory Brooks led Warren (12-8, 8-6) with 17 points.

Ironton beat the Lady Warriors 61-48 back on Jan. 5, also at Warren.

Ironton plays 2:45 p.m. Saturday in the Division III sectional tournament at Rock Hill High School against the winner of Monday’s game between Fairland and Portsmouth West.

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IRONTON (15-5, 10-4): Jessica Waddle 1 2 7-10 15, Mercedes Crockrel 2 0 3-3 7, Alex Taylor 2 0 2-3 6, Brea Tackett 4 0 2-2 10, Michelle Pancake 3 0 3-3 9, Janie Morris 1 0 1-3 3, Lorna Ceaser 0 0 0-0 0, Edi Taylor 0 0 0-0 0, Cortney Rister 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15-40 18-24 50. 3-point goals: 2. Fouls: 18. Fouled: Pancake. Rebounds: 29 (Pancake 8, Morris 8, Crockrel 7). Assists: 9 (Crockrel 7). Steals: 9 (Crockrel 4, Tackett 2). Turnovers: 9.

WARREN (12-8, 8-6): Lakin Horner 1 1 2-6 7, Mallory Brooks 6 1 2-4 17, Nicole Abbott 1 0 4-4 6, Taylor Dolak 2 0 1-2 5, Kelsey Alfred 0 0 0-0 0, Jill Carroll 0 0 0-0 0, Kayla Chevalier 0 0 0-0 0, Allison Konz 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 10 2 9-16 35. Fouls: 19. Fouled out: Carroll.