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Lady Rams pull away from Ironton

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ Lexy Washington (2) scores inside against the Raceland defense. Washington had 14 points in a 58-44 loss on Wednesday. (The Ironton Tribune / Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

 

The Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers seem to have the second half mastered. Now, if they can just do something about the first half.

For the past few weeks, the Lady Tigers have struggled in the first half and then played well in the second half. The combination happened again on Wednesday and it again left them on the short end of a 58-44 score.

“We played well in the second half, but we can’t keep digging ourselves a big hole in the first half and have to come back in the second half against the good teams we’re playing,” said Ironton coach Doug Graham.

“We couldn’t get over the hump. We’d get close and then need a stop and couldn’t get it. That happened three or four times throughout the game.”

The key point came in the thir quarter when Ironton used a layup by Lex Washington, a steal and layup by Ariel Schweickart and a putback by Alicia Murphy to get within 31-25 at the 2:25 mark.

But Jerrah Epling hit a 3-pointer and was fouled to put the lead at nine. Epling missed the free throw but 6-foot-1 Brooke Gee followed up the miss and scored to put Raceland up 36-25.

Epling was a problem at key points throughout the game. She scored 17 points including five 3-pointers. He 35-footer at the buzzer gave the Lady Rams a 27-13 halftime lead.

Gee finished with 11 points and 9 rebounds. Taylor Lacks had 10 points for Raceland (10-5).

“I can’t fault the way (Murphy) played. She battled (Gee). But (Epling) went wild on us,” said Graham.

Washington led Ironton (2-12) with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Karlee McMackin had 12 points — all in the second half — and 6 rebounds, Murphy grabbed 8 rebounds and Schweickart had 6 steals and 4 assists.

Ironton got as close as 45-38 on a layup by Washington with 5:28 left but Micah Leslie sank four straight foul shots and the Rams were up 49-38. Raceland connected on 9 of 13 from the line in the fourth quarter.

The Lady Rams also made 6-of-18 shots from the 3-point line while Ironton failed to connect on 17 attempts.

Ironton visits Chillicothe next Wednesday.

Raceland 14 13 11 20 = 58

Ironton 8 5 16 15 = 44

RACELAND (10-5): Brooke Gee 5 0 1-3 11, Taylor Lacks 1 1 5-6 10, Micah Leslie 1 0 7-8 9, Jerrah Epling 1 5 0-1 17, Krystal Keeton 4 0 1-2 9, Savannah Cotton 1 0 0-0 2, Savannah Mackie 0 0 0-0 0, Lacee Penix 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-47 14-20 58. 3-point goals: 6-18. Rebounds: 11-24=35 (Gee 9, Epling 9). Team rebounds: 5. Assists: 5 (Lacks 2). Steals: 7 (Leslie 3). Turnovers: 19. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.

IRONTON (2-12): Emily Davis 2 0 0-0 4, Ariel Schweickart 2 0 1-1 5, Karlee McMackin 6 0 0-0 12, Alicia Murphy 2 0 2-4 6, Lexy Washington 7 0 0-2 14, Saige Fields 1 0 1-2 3, Taylor Hannon 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-60 4-9 44. 3-point goals: 0-17. Rebounds: 16-23=39 (Washington 11, Murphy 8, McMackin 6). Team rebounds: 5. Assists: 10 (Schweickart 4, Murphy 2). Steals: 9 (Schweickart 6). Turnovers: 15. Fouls: 19. Fouled out: Murphy (4th 5:12).