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Lady Tigers suffer tough 51-49 setback

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ Lexie Barrier (15) hits a jump shot over Wheelersburg defenders during Monday’s game. Barrier had 21 points in a 51-49 loss. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ Lexie Barrier (15) hits a jump shot over Wheelersburg defenders during Monday’s game. Barrier had 21 points in a 51-49 loss. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

WHEELERSBURG — When the offer says, “It’s free,” everyone knows that free sounds too good to be true.

That was the case for the Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers on Monday as they faced the Wheelersburg Lady Pirates who came into the game ranked 10th in the Associated Press Division III basketball poll.

The problem was the “free offer” given by the Lady Pirates. Ironton went to the foul line to attempt 16 free throws and made a mere three.

Yes, three.

The result was a 51-49 loss that left Ironton coach Doug Graham almost at a loss for words.

“Poor free throw shooting and a lack of defensive rebounding. We shoot free throws way better than that,” said Graham shaking his head in disbelief.

Wheelersburg (17-2) wasn’t that much better at the line. The Lady Pirates were 8 of 15 at the line and 18 of 46 from the field for 39 percent. They were 7 of 19 from the 3-point line.

Ironton (12-5) was 19 of 53 from the field for 36 percent due mainly to 8 of 24 shooting from behind the arc.

“They did a good job of walling up and making shots difficult,” said Graham.

“We made good plays, they made good plays. We didn’t make some plays we usually make.”

Foul shooting was a factor in the fourth quarter. Ironton was just 2 of 6 and the Lady Pirates 5 of 10, but one free throw by Sydney Holden with five seconds left gave Wheelersburg a 51-46 lead.

Ironton’s Lexie Barrier drained a long trifecta with one second to go that set the final score.

Both teams came out firing. Wheelersburg hit 6 of 10 shots including 4 of7 from the 3-point line.

The Lady Tigers — just 5 of 13 from the field — used a 3-pointer by Jordan Hannan to take an 11-10 lead at the 2:56 mark, their only lead of the game.

A stickback by D’Laynie Keith put Ironton’s lead at 13-10, but 3-pointers by Sydney Holden and Brooke Smith sent Wheelersburg back on top at 16-13 at the end of the quarter.

Wheelersburg took its biggest lead of the game when Ellie Ruby made two foul shots with 3:07 left in the half to make it 25-16.

Barrier answered with a baseline jumper and a 3-ball to cut the deficit to 25-21.

Taylor Hannan got Ironton even closer with a trey of her own with 22 seconds left and it was 25-24 at the break.

MaKayla Akers scored 8 points in the third quarter including a basket at the 1:29 mark that put the Lady Pirates up 40-32. But Barrier had a layup and a putback in the final minute and Ironton trailed 40-36.

Barrier finished with a game-high 21 points to go with 10 rebounds, four steals, two assists and four blocked shots.

Lexi Wise had 8 points and Cheyenne Scott grabbed seven rebounds.

Holden had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Wheelersburg. Smith scored 11 points and Akers had 10 points and eight rebounds. Brooklyn Adams had 10 rebounds.

On Thursday, Ironton’s jayvees play a two-quarter game at 6:30 followed by the varsity game against South Point.

Ironton 13 11 12 13 = 49

Wheelersburg 16 9 15 11 = 51

IRONTON (12-5): Jordan Hannan 2 0 0-0 6, Lexi Wise 4 0 0-6 8, Lexie Barrier 4 4 1-2 21, Sydney Webb 0 0 2-4 2, Cheyenne Scott 1 0 0-4 2, Taylor Hannan 0 2 0-0 6, D’Laynie Keith 2 0 0-0 4, Zakia Lee 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-53 3-16 49. 3-point goals: 8-24. Rebounds: 14-off. 18-def. = 32 (Barrier 10, Scott 7). Team/deadball rebounds: None. Assists: 10 (T. Hannan 3, Wise 2, Barrier 2). Steals: 9 (Barrier 4, Scott 3). Turnovers: 12. Blocked shots: 5 (Barrier 4, Wise 1). Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None.

WHEELERSBURG (17-2): Kalle Coleman 1 1 2-2 7, Brooke Smith 1 3 0-0 11, Sydney Holden 3 3 4-7 19, Brooklyn Adams 0 0 0-2 0, MaKayla Akers 5 0 0-2 10, Ellie Ruby 0 0 2-2 2, Brittany Swim 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 18-46 8-15 51. 3-point goals: 7-19. Rebounds: 15-off. 23-def. = 38 (Holden 11, Adams 10, Akers 8). Assists: 5 (Adams 2, Coleman 2). Steals: 8 (Ruby 3, Coleman 3). Turnovers: 21. Fouls: 8. Fouled out: None.