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Lady Fighting Tigers fail road test at Oak Hill

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

OAK HILL — The young and inexperienced Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers were facing a big test Monday against the unbeaten Oak Hill Lady Oaks.

As it turned out, they may need to retake the course and test at a later date.

Ironton did not match Oak Hill’s aggressive style as the Lady Fighting Tigers dropped a 57-24 decision.

“We just weren’t very aggressive,” said Ironton coach Doug Graham. “Oak Hill plays an aggressive style and we turned the ball over too much. We contested shots, but we didn’t rebound. We played like we forgot everything we’ve learned.”

The Lady Oaks (6-0) were just 15 of 48 from the field for 31.3 percent but converted 23 of 29 free throws. Their three-quarter court press forced Ironton into 26 turnovers.

Ironton (5-2) was just 10 of 25 from the floor for 28.6 percent. Nikki Elswick was the only Ironton player to shoot a free throw going 3 for 6.

Oak Hill scored the first eight points of the game before Ironton got a foul shot by Elswick with 2:37 on the clock.

Lakin Caudill hit a short baseline shot and Kelsey Burton made two free throws and it was 12-1. Elswick hit the front end of two technical foul shots and it was 12-2 at the end of the quarter.

Elswick converted a 3-point play and Alisha Murphy hit a 12-foot baseline shot as Ironton got with 12-7 with 6:29 left in the half.

But tat was as close as the Lady Fighting Tigers would get the rest of the game as Taylor Hale banked in a 3-pointer from the left wing, Breanna Butler made two foul shots and Mikie Strite hit a triple for a 20-7 lead with 3:22 on the clock.

Murphy scored 22 seconds later for Ironton but Elswick’s 15-footer at the 2:39 mark was the final score for Ironton in the half and cut the deficit to 21-11.

A layup by Leanna Adkins, two foul shots by Hale and one by Butler extended Oak Hill’s halftime lead to 26-11.

A 3-point play by Caudill with 3:16 to go in the third quarter gave the Lady Oaks a 38-16 lead. Two foul shots by Butler with 1:03 left built a 41-20 cushion heading into the fourth quarter.

Elswick had a putback to start the fourth quarter and a layup with five minutes left, but they were the only points in the quarter for Ironton as the Lady Oaks continued to pull away.

Two foul shots by Butler with 1:13 left gave the Lady Oaks a 56-24 lead and the reserves finished up the final 53 seconds.

Elswick led Ironton with 16 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots as only four players scored.

Butler had 18 points and eight steals, Caudill 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Hale 11 points to pace Oak Hill.

Ironton 2 9 9 4 = 24

Oak Hill 12 14 15 16 = 57

IRONTON (5-2): Alex Taylor 0 0 0-0 0, Nikki Elswick 5 1 3-6 16, Ariel Schweickart 1 0 0-0 2, Karlee McMackin 0 0 0-0 0, Alisha Murphy 2 0 0-0 4, Emily Davis 0 0 0-0 0, Torie Klaiber 0 0 0-0 0, Kaitlyn Adkins 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 10-35 3-6 24. Fouls: 22. Fouled out: Taylor (4th 1:35). 3-point goals: 1-7. Rebounds: 5 offense, 23 defense = 28 (Elswick 7, Taylor 4, Murphy 4). Team/deadball rebounds: 6. Assists: 5 (Taylor 4). Steals: 4 (Schweickart 2). Turnovers: 26. Blocked shots: 4 (Elswick 4).

OAK HILL (6-0): Kelsey Burton 1 0 3-4 5, Taylor Hale 2 1 4-5 11, Breanna Butler 3 1 9-11 18, Mikei Strite 0 2 0-0 6, Lakin Caudill 3 0 6-7 12, Leanna Adkins 2 0 0-0 4, Tiffani Hale 0 0 1-2 1, Kayla Adkins 0 0 0-0 0, Kristianna Johnson 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15-48 23-29 57. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 4-19. Rebounds: 14 offense, 21 defense = 35 (Caudill 10, Burton 6, Hale 6). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 9 (Butler 3, Caudill 3). Steals: 16 (Butler 8). Turnovers: 13. Blocked shots: Caudill 1.