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Rollin’ to Regionals

ATHENS — Insider trading is illegal on Wall Street. It was just unfair at Ohio University Saturday.

The Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers used their inside offense and defense to create an unfair balance of trade as they outscored Zane Trace 28-16 in the paint.

With Lorna Ceaser scoring 20 points and Nikki Elswick getting 11 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots, Ironton rolled past the Lady Pioneers 50-30 to win the Division III district championship for the second straight year.

“We wanted to keep them out of the paint. (McKenzee) Tatman and (Sierra) Sigman are both tremendous dribble penetrators,” said Ironton coach Doug Graham.

“Nikki and Lorna both had big games. Nikki had a good game inside and Lorna did everything she could.”

By forcing Zane Trace to stay on the outside, the Lady Pioneers managed to make just 13-of-47 field goal attempts for 27 percent. Even worse was the 2-for-21 shooting from 3-point range and a woeful 2-of-15 at the foul line.

Ironton (15-7) will now play Sugarcreek Garaway (18-6) at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday in the regional semifinals at Ohio University. The regional finals are 1 p.m. next Saturday.

Scoring inside, Ironton took a 10-4 lead. Brea Tackett hit Ironton’s first outside shot with a 15-footer at the 1:48 mark and a foul shot by Ceaser pushed the lead to 13-5 at the end of the quarter.

Tackett made both ends of a one-and-one to give Ironton a 22-9 lead midway through the second quarter.

Sigman and Amanda Prickett hit back-to-back 3-pointers to get Zane Trace within 22-15 at the 3:10 mark, but Tackett — who scored 12 points — made four more foul shots to close the half and it was 26-15.

The Lady Pioneers used a baseline jumper by Tatman to cut the deficit to 28-21 with 4:50 left in the third quarter, but Ceaser scored five straight points for a 33-21 lead and Rebekkah Potter drained a trey to make it 36-22 with 2:50 on the clock and the Lady Tigers went to the fourth quarter leading 38-26.

Elswick had a put-back and two foul shots to start the fourth quarter and Ceaser’s layup off a pass from Potter opened up a 44-26 cushion with 5:29 to play.

“(Coach Graham) said they were more of a guard team. If we get the ball inside, we’ll have it all night long,” said Elswick.

“We have big bodies and we were able to get a hand up to make it hard for them to shoot. Rebekkah stepped up for a freshman and she did a real good job.”

Tatman hit a short jumper in the lane with 5:09 left, but the Lady Pioneers didn’t score again until 15 seconds remained and the second teams were on the floor.

Although Janie Morris didn’t score, she still had five assists, four rebounds and a steal for Ironton. Alex Taylor had seven rebounds, two assists and a steal to go with four points.

Tatman had eight points and Sigman seven to lead Zane Trace (16-7).

Ironton 13 13 12 12 = 50

Zane Trace 5 10 11 4 = 30

IRONTON (15-7): Alex Taylor 2 0 0-0 4, Brea Tackett 2 0 8-8 12, Nikki Elswick 3 0 5-7 11, Janie Morris 0 0 0-0 0, Lorna Ceaser 9 0 2-4 20, Rebekkah Potter 0 1 0-0 3, Emily Lilly 0 0 0-0 0, Emily Davis 0 0 0-0 0, Ariel Schweickart 0 0 0-0 0, Katlyn Adkins 0 0 0-0 0, Karlee McMackin 0 0 0-0 0, Colleen Walker 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-36 15-19 50. 3-point goals: 1-5. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 8 offense, 33 defense = 41 (Elswick 12, Taylor 7). Team rebounds: 5. Assists: 12 (Morris 5, Tackett 4). Steals: 6 (six with 1 each). Turnovers: 21. Blocked shots: 5 (Elswick 5).

ZANE TRACE (16-7): Jessica Roepke 2 0 1-2 5, McKenzee Tatman 4 0 0-4 8, Sierra Sigman 2 1 0-7 7, Erin Daily 2 0 0-0 4, Jenna Wiget 0 0 0-0 0, Kelsey Dunkle 0 0 1-2 1, Amanda Prickett 0 1 0-0 3, Sam Ritchie 0 0 0-0 0, Karina Partee 0 0 0-0 0, Ashtan Roberts 0 0 0-0 0, Joann Saultz 0 0 0-0 0, Megan Jaruwannakorn 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 13-47 2-15 30. 3-point goals: 2-21. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 7 offense, 13 defense = 20 (Roepke 6, Dailey 4). Team rebounds: 4. Assists: 3 (three with 1 each). Steals: 10 (Sigman 3). Turnovers: 10. Blocked shots: 2 (Roepke 1, Tatman 1).