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Lady Fighting Tigers’ comeback falls short

MARIETTA — The Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers need to stop digging holes.

For the fifth time in the last six games, Ironton found itself behind and forced to battle back in the fourth quarter.

The Lady Tigers did manage to come back and even take a one-point lead, but the uphill battle took its toll as they couldn’t dig completely out of that hole for the fourth time as they fell to the first place Marietta Lady Tigers 53-50 Saturday.

The four near comeback wins have come at the hands of favored teams. Still, that didn’t ease the disappointment as Ironton fell to 8-5 overall and 4-3 in the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League.

Ironton took a 4-0 lead to start the game before Marietta stormed back to go up 13-8. Alex Taylor scored to tie the game at 18, but Marietta scored the final 7 points of the half to lead 25-18 at the break.

Ironton managed just two field goals in the third quarter and Marietta continued to pull away by building a 39-27 lead.

With 5:35 to play in the game, Marietta was up 45-31 when Ironton went on a 17-2 run thanks to 12 free throw attempts during a 3-minute span.

Both of Marietta’s points during Ironton’s run came on foul shots by Mary Beth Schramm with 4:41 left.

Brea Tackett sank two foul shots with 2:33 to go that gave Ironton its first lead since the start of the game at 48-47.

But six seconds later Maegan Grosel hit two foul shots that gave Marietta the lead for good. Grosel was 5-of-6 from the line and LeAnne Ross 1-of-2 over the final two minutes for Marietta.

Trailing by two, Ironton had a chance to tie the game after getting a steal on an inbounds play with 15 seconds left. But a 3-point attempt by Morris rimmed out and Ross managed to grab the rebound in a mad scramble for the ball and was fouled.

Ross hit one free throw to set the final score.

Ironton was led by Tackett with 11 points before fouling out. Morris had 10 points and 6 rebounds while Emily Lilly came off the bench to score a career-high 9 points for the foul-plagued Lorna Ceaser. Taylor added 8 points and 9 rebounds.

Marietta — 8-1 overall and 6-0 in the league — was led by Ross with 19 points with Grosel adding 11.

Ironton hosts Portsmouth on Wednesday in a league game.

Ironton 8 10 9 23 = 50

Marietta 13 12 14 14 = 53

IRONTON (8-5, 4-3): Rebekkah Potter 1 0 1-2 3, Alex Taylor 3 0 2-4 8, Nikki Elswick 2 0 2-4 6, Janie Morris 4 0 2-3 10, Lorna Ceaser 1 0 1-2 3, Brea Tackett 2 0 7-7 11, Emily Lilly 4 0 1-1 9, Taylor Lilly 0 0 0-0 0, Emily Davis 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-40 16-24 50. Fouls: 22. Fouled out: Tackett. 3-point goals: 0-5. Rebounds: 30 (Taylor 9, Morris 6). Assists: 5 (Morrs 2, Tackett 2). Steals: 8 (Morris 3, Ceaser 2, Elswick 2). Turnovers: 32. Blocked shots: 4 Ceaser 2).

MARIETTA (8-1, 6-0): Amanda Brown 0 2 0-0 6, LeAnne Ross 6 1 4-5 19, Lauren Ross 0 0 0-0 0, Paige Lamb 4 0 0-0 8, Mary Beth Schramm 1 0 3-4 5, Elizabeth Stoll 0 0 1-2 1, Ali Summers 1 0 1-2 3, Maegan Grosel 2 7-10 11, Allison Fouss 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-52 16-23 53. Fouls: 23. 3-point goals: 3-11. Rebounds: 27 (Schramm 6, Lamb 5). Assists: 6 (Grosel 2, Le. Ross 2). Steals: 8 (Brown 3, Stoll2). Turnovers: 22.

RESERVES: Marietta 38-20.