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Lady Tigers down Cabell Midland

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ Nikki Elswick (21) had 25 points and 21 rebounds in a 46-29 win over Cabell Midland on Saturday. (The Ironton Tribune / Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos.com)

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers have a certain way they do things. It’s not pretty, but it works.

The Lady Tigers use defense, rebounding and a grinding offense as their formula to win and it worked again Saturday as they beat the Cabell Midland Lady Knights 46-29 in the St. Joe Invitational Shootout at Veterans’ Memorial Field House.

“It was ugly, but that’s the way we like it,” said Ironton coach Doug Graham.

Ironton (11-4) used its defense to limit the Knights to 12 of 52 shooting from the field — 23 percent — and just 4 of 15 from the 3-point line.

“A lot of their bad shots were because of our defense. We were able to contest almost all their shots and make them shoot the ball too quick or take a shot that was difficult,” said Graham.

The Lady Tigers didn’t shoot well themselves as they missed nearly two dozen shots from in the paint.

“We had a lot of easy shots, but for some reason we rushed ourselves. We need to relax and we’ll make those shots,” said Graham.

Nikki Elswick made enough shots for Ironton as she scored 25 points to go along with 21 rebounds. The Lady Tigers dominated the boards 49-32 as Midland had just nine offensive rebounds.

The Lady Tigers led just 8-6 at the end of the first quarter as they made only 3 of 11 floor shots.

Elswick hit a 3-pointer midway through the second quarter and followed with a layup to open up an 18-8 lead.

Two foul shots by Kaitlyn Adkins and a 10-footer by Elswick from the middle of the lane pushed the spread to 22-10 before Emily Harbour hit a 3-pointer with time running out for Midland and it was 22-13 at the break.

Elswick had just eight points in the second half as Midland went to a box-and-one and double teamed her when she got the ball, but she pulled down 12 of her rebounds in the half along with blocking two shots.

“They slowed her down, but she’s still hard to stop. They tried to stop her and it opened things up for the other girls,” said Graham.

A short jumper by Elswick at the 5:02 mark gave Ironton a 28-15 lead. A steal and layup by Ariel Schweickart made it 33-21 before Midland hit yet another 3-pointer, this time at the buzzer and it was 33-24.

A triple by Stephanie Bias got Midland within 35-27 with 4:57 left, but Elswick hit two foul shots and Alicia Murphy scored four points and Ironton stretched its lead to 41-27 with 2:45 to play.

Midland (4-8) began to foul and Ironton converted 7 of 8 from the line down the stretch to seal the win.

Ironton plays at Minford on Monday.

Ironton 8 14 11 13 = 46

Cabell Midland 6 7 11 5 = 29

IRONTON (11-4): Alex Taylor 1 0 3-6 5, Nikki Elswick 7 2 5-7 25, Ariel Schweickart 1 0 1-2 3, Karlee McMackin 1 0 0-1 2, Alicia Murphy 3 0 2-2 8, Torie Klaiber 0 0 1-2 1, Emily Davis 0 0 0-0 0, Kaitlyn Adkins 0 0 2-3 2. Totals: 15-53 14-23 46. Fouls: 7. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 2-6. Rebounds: 18 offense, 31 defense = 49 (Elswick 21, Murphy 8, Taylor 7, Schweickart 6). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 8 (Taylor 4). Steals: 7 (Schweickart 3). Turnovers: 13.

CABELL MIDLAND (4-8): Stephanie Bias 1 2 0-1 8, Emily Harbour 3 1 0-0 9, Emily Pitkin 0 0 0-0 0, Taylor Carter 0 1 0-0 3, Emily Harden 1 0 0-0 2, Sierra Jordan 3 0 0-2 6, Alexandria Ellis 0 0 1-2 1, Savanna Jordan 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 12-52 1-5 29. Fouls: 19. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 4-15. Rebounds: 9 offense, 23 defense = 32 (Bias 5, Pitkin 5, Harden 4). Team/deadball rebounds: 6. Assists: 6 (six with one each). Steals: 8 (Harden 3, Harbour 2). Turnovers: 14.