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‘Relentless’ Ironton girls turn back Lady Red Devils

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ Lexie Barrier (15) scores inside against Russell’s Maggie Jachimczuk (left). Ironton beat the Lady Red Devils 53-44 on Monday. (Tim Gearhart of Tim’s News & Novelties, Park Ave. in Ironton)

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ Lexie Barrier (15) scores inside against Russell’s Maggie Jachimczuk (left). Ironton beat the Lady Red Devils 53-44 on Monday. (Tim Gearhart of Tim’s News & Novelties, Park Ave. in Ironton)

Jim Walker



FLATWOODS, Ky. — First, the Ironton Lady Fighting won the staring contest. Next they won the game.

Despite adversity staring them in the face early, the Lady Tigers continued their relentless play as they rallied to beat the Russell Lady Red Devils 53-44 on Monday.

Ironton (9-0) fell behind by as many as 11 points in the first quarter and trailed 19-11.

But the defense held Russell to single digit scoring in each of the next three quarters to fuel their comeback.

“We faced some adversity. We got in foul trouble, We’re on the road. That says a lot about my girls. They’re loose all the time,” said Graham.

“I told the girls at the end of each quarter we’ve got 24 minutes left, 16 minutes left, eight minutes left. We wanted to make it a 32-minute game and fortunately we were able to pull it out at the end.”

Ironton was down 19-11 with 1:17 left in the first quarter after Rachel Michael scored for Russell (9-3).

But Sydney Webb drained a trifecta with 46 seconds on the clock and then may a layup to begin the second quarter as Ironton got within 19-13 as the pressure began to mount.

After leading scorer Lexie Barrier picked up a pair of quick fouls in the first quarter, Graham dipped into his bench and used D’Laynie Keith, Zakia Lee and Cheyenne Scott.

“We were a little deeper than they were. The longer I’m here the more I want to go deeper on the bench, develop seven, eight, nine players,” said Graham.

“Going in I thought we could apply some pressure. That was our advantage. They have a tremendous inside player and a couple of good guards to go with her. We wanted to make it more of a full-court game.”

A layup by Jordan Hannan pulled Ironton within 26-23 with nine seconds to go in the half, but a half-court shot by Ty Mitchell bounced off the backboard and Michael was able to put it in the basket as the buzzer sounded for a 28-23 halftime lead.

Ironton pulled within one point twice including 36-35 on a layup by Barrier with six seconds left.

Barrier then scored with 6:34 left to play to give Ironton its first lead at 37-36.

Scott then made three foul shots, Hannan came up with a steal and fed Webb for a layup, and Barrier made a layup and foul shot for a 45-36 lead at the 3:48 mark.

Russell finally end Ironton’s 12-0 scoring run as Maggie Jachimczuk converted a 3-point play.

The Lady Red Devils were forced to foul and Scott went 4-for-4 and Barrier 2-for-2 over the final 1:43 to seal the win.

Barrier finished with 14 points and six rebounds, Scott had 11 points and eight rebounds, Webb scored 12 points and Lexie Wise added 10 points.

Jachimczuk got 15 points and 14 rebounds for Russell. Madison Darnell scored 11 points.

“She’s legit. She has a relentless motor. She’s a beast inside,” Graham said of Jachimczuk. “They have a good inside player and two pretty good guards, but they aren’t very deep.”

Ironton hosts Gallipolis in an Ohio Valley Conference game on Saturday. Junior varsity begins at 1 p.m.

Ironton 11 12 12 18 = 53

Russell 19 9 8 8 = 44

IRONTON (9-0): Jordan Hannan 1 0 0-0 2, Lexie Wise 5 0 0-4 10, Lexie Barrier 4 1 3-6 14, Sydney Webb 3 2 0-0 12, Alyssa Lewis 2 0 0-0 4, Cheyenne Scott 1 0 9-10 11, D’Laynie Keith 0 0 0-0 0, Zakia Lee 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-42 12-20 53. 3-point goals: 3-7. Rebounds: 9-O, 17-D – 26 (Scott 8, Barrier 6). Team rebounds: 2. Assists: 6 (Wise 3). Steals: 13 (Webb 3, Hannan 3, Barrier 2, Scott 2). Turnovers: 15. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None.

RUSSELL (9-3): Madison Darnell 4 0 3-5 11, Tyanna Mitchell 2 0 2-3 6, Rachel Michael 4 0 0-0 8, Camryn Ratliff 0 0 0-0 0, Maggie Jackimczuk 6 0 3-3 15, Lakie Sanders 1 0 2-2 4. Totals: 17-42 10-13 44. 3-point goals: 0-4. Rebounds: 11-O, 18-D = 29 (Jachimczuk 14). Team rebounds: 1. Assists: 5 (Mitchell 2, Jachimczuk 2) Steals: 6 (Ratliff 2, Mitchell 2). Turnovers: 21. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: Mitchell (4th 1:43).