• 46°

Defense key for Lady Tigers

COAL GROVE — Matlock would have been proud.

The famous TV defense attorney would be hard pressed to find a defense any better than the effort given by the Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers Tuesday as they opened the season with a 59-24 win over the Coal Grove Lady Hornets.

Ironton limited Coal Grove to 26 percent shooting as the Lady Hornets managed only 27 shots from the field. The Lady Tigers also forced 23 turnovers with Brea Tackett coming up with six steals of the team’s 17 steals.

“We played pretty well defensively,” said Ironton coach Doug Graham. “We kept good pressure on the ball and forced some turnovers. I thought Lorna (Ceaser) and Janie (Morris) did a good job taking turns on (Chelsea) Delong. If Delong gets going early, she can really hurt you.”

Nikki Elswick came off the bench to score 23 points — 15 in the second half — and grabbed 12 rebounds for Ironton. Tackett had 12 points and Morris 8.

Delong had 7 points and 5 rebounds to pace Coal Grove.

The Lady Fighting Tigers raced to a 13-0 lead to open the game and never looked back.

Amanda Collins had a put back basket with 2:34 left in the first quarter to get Coal Grove on the board, but Tackett hit a trifecta and Elswick a foul shot to make it 17-2. Ashley Adkins trey with under a minute got Coal Grove within 17-5.

The Lady Tigers held Coal Grove to 1-for-9 shooting in the second quarter and built a 28-10 cushion at the break.

The defense continued to play well in the third quarter by holding Coal Grove to 3 points. Elswick scored 8 points as Ironton pulled away to a 40-13 lead.

“We’re awfully young,” said Lady Hornets’ coach Nick Miller. “We have three seniors and the rest are freshmen and sophomores. Ironton was better than I thought. They did a nice job. I thought our girls settled down and played better in the second half.”

Ironton visits Fairland Thursday. Coal Grove hosts Wellston at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Ironton 17 11 12 19 = 59

Coal Grove 5 5 3 11 = 24

IRONTON (1-0) 59

Player FG 3pt FT Reb. TP

Alex Taylor 0 0 2-2 2 2

Rebekkah Potter 0 1 0-0 4 3

Brea Tackett 1 2 4-4 0 12

Janie Morris 4 0 4-4 4 8

Lorna Ceaser 2 0 1-1 3 5

Nikki Elswick 9 0 5-7 12 23

Emily Lilly 0 0 0-0 1 0

Taylor Lilly 0 0 0-0 0 0

Emily Davis 3 0 0-0 0 6

Totals 22-46 3-9 12-14 16-27 59

Assists: 12 (Tackett 5, E. Lilly 1, Potter 3, Morris 1, Davis 1). Steals: 17 (Tackett 6, Elswick 3, T. Lilly 1, Ceaser 1, Morris 1.) Rebounds: 30 (13 offensive, 17 defensive). Turnovers: 11. Fouls: 21. Fouled out: None.

COAL GROVE (0-2) 24

Player FG 3pt FT Reb. TP

Ashley Adkins 0 1 1-8 1 4

Kelli McMackin 1 0 4-5 1 6

Amanda Collins 1 0 0-0 0 2

Chelsea Delong 2 1 0-2 5 7

Taylor Fleming 0 0 1-2 0 1

Ashley Goad 1 0 0-0 2 0

Darrien Hankins 0 0 0-0 2 0

Alisha McClellan 0 0 1-2 1 1

Katey Erwin 0 0 0-0 0 0

Kasey Walker 0 0 0-0 0 0

Cheyenne Bellomy 0 0 0-0 0 0

Totals 7-27 2-14 8-22 24 24

Assists: None. Steals: 2 (Hanshaw, Goad). Rebounds: 24 (11 offensive, 13 defensive). Turnovers: 23. Fouls: 9. Fouled out: None.