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Ironton girls hang on to edge Chesapeake

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ Cheyenne Scott (right) goes for the block as Chesapeake Lady Panthers’ Kaylee Curry (14) goes up for a jumper during Monday’s OVC game. Ironton won 32-28. (Photo Courtesy of Tim Gearhart of Tim’s News & Novelties of Ironton)

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ Cheyenne Scott (right) goes for the block as Chesapeake Lady Panthers’ Kaylee Curry (14) goes up for a jumper during Monday’s OVC game. Ironton won 32-28. (Photo Courtesy of Tim Gearhart of Tim’s News & Novelties of Ironton)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

When the offense struggles, the defense has to respond.

That was the case for the Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers who slipped past the Chesapeake Lady Panthers 32-28 in a grueling Ohio Valley Conference battle on Monday.

Ironton shots just 12 of 41 from the field for 29 percent and Chesapeake was 11 of 38 for 29 percent. So….

Ironton (4-0, 4-0) forced 19 turnovers — 14 in the second half — to win the defensive battle.

“The defense really turned it up in the second half. We wanted to pressure their guards and that was the difference,” said Ironton coach Doug Graham.

“We didn’t hit shots and they were not horrible shots.”

Chesapeake (3-2, 2-2) held a 14-8 first quarter lead as Kaylee Curry scored 10 points and the Lady Panthers took advantage of foul trouble by Lexie Barrier that put the Ironton standout on the bench for more than eight minutes in the half.

“We felt we had some mismatches early and we took advantage of them. They did a good job of making some adjustments, just like we did,” said Chesapeake coach Chris Ball.

Taylor Hannan had a layup to end the first quarter and hit a 15-footer to begin the second quarter to ignite a 13-0 run by Ironton that put the Lady Tigers in front 19-14 with 5:04 left in the half.

Curry’s layup ended the run and Kelsey Curry’s 12-footer with two seconds left got Chesapeake within 21-20 at the break.

A short jumper by Lexi Wise with 1:02 on the clock enabled Ironton to open up a 29-22 lead in the third quarter, but Kaylee Curry had a putback and two foul shots and Chesapeake cut the deficit to 29-26.

Baylee Mills made a layup early in the fourth quarter to get Chesapeake within 29-28, but it proved to be the Lady Panthers’ only points in the quarter.

Barrier drained a 19-footer with 5:07 to go and it was 31-28 and her free throw with 13 seconds left sealed the win as the defense forced two key turnovers in the final minute.

“We were very concern about their pressure coming into the game. The biggest thing that bothered me was our half-court execution the last two minutes,” said Ball.

Barrier had 10 points and 5 rebounds, Hannan added 9 points and Cheyenne Scott grabbed 8 rebounds to lead Ironton.

Kaylee Curry finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Sydnee Hall had 8 rebounds.

“They’re a scrappy bunch. They play hard. It was a grind it out game,” said Graham.

The Lady Panthers were still smarting from a 52-48 loss last week to Rock Hill. Ironton beat Rock Hill 76-34.

“We wanted to come in her and make a statement after last week’s loss to Rock Hill,” said Ball. “Ironton’s girls play hard every night. We showed that we were going to come in here and battle.”

Ironton hosts Ashland on Thursday. Chesapeake plays in the South Point Holiday Shootout on Saturday.

Chesapeake 14 6 6 2 = 28

Ironton 8 13 8 3 = 32

CHESAPEAKE (3-2, 2-2): Kelsey Curry 1 0 0-0 2, Atiya Spaulding 2 0 0-2 4, Kaylee Curry 6 0 6-8 18, Sydnee Hall 0 0 0-0 0, Natalie Hall 1 0 0-0 2, Kelsey Huff 0 0 0-0 0, Brooke Webb 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 11-38 6-10 28. 3-point goals: 0-4. Rebounds: 13-O, 24-D = 37 (Ka. Curry 14, S. Hall 8, Spaulding 5). Team rebounds: 3. Assists: 5 (Ke. Curry 2). Steals: 3 (Spaulding 2). Turnovers: 19. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.

IRONTON (4-0, 4-0): Lexi Wise 2 0 0-1 4, Taylor Hannan 3 1 0-0 9, Lexie Barrier 1 2 2-4 10, Sydney Webb 0 0 0-0 0, Cheyenne Scott 1 0 1-3 3, Jordan Hannan 0 1 0-0 3, Zakie Lee 1 0 0-0 2, Alyssa Lewis 0 0 1-2 1. Totals: 12-41 4-10 32. 3-point goals: 4-17. Rebounds: 9-O, 17-D = 26 (Scott 8, Barrier 5, Wise 5). Team rebounds: 3. Assists: 6 (Webb 2, Barrier 2). Steals: 9 (J. Hannan 2, Barrier 2, Wise 2). Turnovers: 13. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.