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Defense leads Lady Tigers past Lady Dragons, 62-34

PROCTORVILLE — It took a while before the Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers flipped the “ON” switch, but once they did it was full power.

After a sluggish first half, Ironton increased its defensive pressure in the second half and beat the Fairland Lady Dragons 62-34 Thursday in a non-league game.

Ironton led 30-18 at the half as Fairland made 7-of-20 field goal attempts. That changed in the second half as the Lady Dragons missed all 11 shots in the third quarter and were just 2-of-11 in the fourth quarter.

“We played lethargic the first half and they played really hard,” said Ironton coach Doug Graham.

“We came out and got after it in the second half and played like we’re capable of playing. I give Fairland credit. They’re doing some things right.”

Ironton (2-0) outscored Fairland 21-2 in the third quarter as Brea Tackett scored 11 of her game-high 21 points including three 3-pointers.

“I felt like we played pretty well and the girls did a fair job executing our game plan. The only thing we didn’t do a good job of was letting Tackett go off a little in the second half,” said Fairland coach Jon Buchanan.

Ironton led 10-6 at the end of the first quarter but opened up a 24-9 lead on a layups by Nikki Elswick and Alex Taylor at the midway point.

A layup by Emily Lilly off a pass from Lorna Ceaser put the lead at 30-16. Fairland’s Kennon Clarkson hit two foul shots with 27 seconds left in the half and it was 30-18.

Tackett opened the second half by draining a trey and then got a steal and layup to extend the lead to 35-18. Ironton had six of its 16 steals in the quarter.

Tackett hit two more triples to close the quarter and it was 51-20.

Fairland (0-3) did not make a field goal until Kayla Swiger made a 3-pointer with 3:22 left to play.

Swiger led the Lady Dragons with 12 points. Clarkson had 9 points and 6 rebounds.

“The game was decided in the third quarter They shot 7-of-11 in the quarter and we go oh-for-11,” said Buchanan. “Some were easy looks, but Ironton is very solid defensively. They play half-court man as good as any team I’ve seen through the whole preseason and into the beginning of the game season.”

Janie Morris had a strong game for Ironton with 14 points 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists. Ceaser and Elswick had 9 rebounds each as Ironton held a 36-24 rebound advantage.

Ironton 10 20 21 11 = 62

Fairland 6 12 2 14 = 34

IRONTON (2-0): Rebekkah Potter 0 0 0-0 0, Brea Tackett 3 4 0-0 21, Nikki Elswick 3 0 0-0 6, Janie Morris 4 0 6-6 14, Lorna Ceaser 3 0 0-1 6, Alex Taylor 5 0 2-4 12, Emily Lilly 2 0 0-0 4, Emily Davis 1 0 0-0 2, Taylor Lilly 0 0 0-0 0, Karlee McMackin 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 25-52 8-11 62. 3-point goals: 4-8. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 12-24=36 (Ceaser 9, Elswick 9, Morris 5). Assists: 11 (Ceaser 4, Tackett 3, Morris 2). Steals: 16 (Tackett 5, Taylor 4, Morris 3). Turnovers: 21.

FAIRLAND (0-3): Megan Brooks 1 0 2-4 4, Kayla Swiger 1 2 4-4 12, Kennon Clarkson 2 0 5-9 9, Jaimie Phillips 1 0 0-0 2, Sashe Burcham 0 0 0-0 0, Mariah Chaffi 0 0 0-0 0, Katie Fuller 0 0 2-2 2, Stormie Spitzer 0 0 1-2 1, Samantha Lamb 1 0 0-0 2, Kerie Napier 1 0 0-0 2, Kamren Mendoza 0 0 0-0 0, Lauren Poe 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 9-42 14-21 34. 3-point goals: 2-9. Fouls: 9. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 9-16=24 (Burcham 6, Clarkson 6). Team rebounds: 4. Assists: 2. Steals: 8 (Brooks 4). Turnovers: 23.