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Ironton, Barrier slip past Lady Dragons

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ Lexie Barrier (15) goes for the blocked shot against Fairland Lady Dragons’ Jenna Fulks (33). Barrier scored 28 points as Ironton won 51-46. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ Lexie Barrier (15) goes for the blocked shot against Fairland Lady Dragons’ Jenna Fulks (33). Barrier scored 28 points as Ironton won 51-46. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

PROCTORVILLE — With time running out and the score tied, Ironton coach Doug Graham looked at his cards and played his ace.

Graham looked at 5-foot-11 junior guard Lexie Barrier — a Virginia Tech commit — and gave her some simple instructions.

“I looked at Lexie and said, ‘It’s your time.’ I told the other girls to get her the ball. It wasn’t difficult strategy,” said Graham.

With the score 46-all and 40 seconds to play, Barrier converted a 3-point play, blocked a Fairland 3-point attempt, got the rebound, was fouled and hit both free throws with 10 seconds left as the Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers beat the Fairland Lady Dragons 51-46 Thursday in a key Ohio Valley Conference game.

“They’re the three-time league champions and they’re a good team. To beat them and to beat them on the road is a good win,” said Graham.

Fairland coach Jon Buchanan was happy with his team’s effort but tipped his hat to Barrier.

“It was a fantastic game. It was back and forth. I was happy with the way our girls played,” said Buchanan.

“Barrier just made every play there was to make down the stretch. Ironton made seven 3s. If the other team makes that many 3s, they’ll win.”

Barrier finished with a game-high 28 points including four 3-pointers and 8 of 8 at the foul line.

Kelsey Riley and Emily Chapman had 13 points each for Fairland (0-2, 0-1).

“Chapman can play some ball. She has a chance to be a good player. I was happy with the way my bench played,” said Buchanan. “Maddy Kazee came in and did an excellent job.”

Barrier scored 8 points in the first quarter as Ironton took an 18-14 lead.

Chapman got 7 points in the second quarter as Fairland got within 30-27 at the half.

Ironton (2-0, 2-0) went up 40-36 at the end of the third quarter despite 7 points by Riley.

Barrier hit a pair of treys as she scored 11 points in the fourth quarter. Chapman hit two triples of her own as she helped Fairland take a lead with 1:30 to play.

But Barrier rallied her team down the stretch to the pivotal win.

Ironton hosts Rock Hill next Thursday in an OVC game. The Lady Tigers play Spring Valley at 6 p.m. in a four-quarter jayvee game.

Fairland plays Athens at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday in the Rio Grande Classic.

Ironton 18 12 10 11 = 51

Fairland 14 13 9 10 = 46

IRONTON (2-0, 2-0): Jordan Hannan 0 1 0-0 3, Lexi Wise 1 0 1-2 3, Taylor Hannan 0 0 2-2 2, Lexie Barrier 4 4 8-8 28, Macy Wise 0 0 0-2 0, Sydney Webb 1 0 0-0 2, Alyssa Lewis 1 1 1-2 6, Cheyenne Scott 2 1 0-0 7. Totals: 9 7 12-16 51. Fouls: 15. None.

FAIRLAND (0-2, 0-1): Emily Chapman 2 3 0-0 13, Maddy Kazee 0 0 2-2 , Taylor Staten 0 0 0-0 0, Mackenzie Riley 4 0 0-0 8, Kelsey Riley 4 0 5-7 13, Stone 2 0 2-3 6, Jenna Fulks 2 0 0-0 4. Totals: 14 3 9-12 46. Fouls: 15. None.