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Lady Fighting Tigers topple Lady Pirates to stay unbeaten

Jim Walker



Ironton came into the game unbeaten and Wheelersburg connected with a few arrows, but the Lady Pirates couldn’t hit the bull’s-eye.

The Lady Fighting Tigers took Wheelersburg’s best shot and still came away with a 46-36 win on Wednesday.

“You’re going to get everybody’s best shot. Everyone wants to be the team that knocks you off. They’ll remember that 10, 15, 20 years from now,” said Ironton coach Doug Graham.

The Lady Pirates tried to control them tempo and be selective on offense. They made 52 percent of their shots but had only 29 attempts.

Ironton (19-0) missed more than a dozen shots in the paint but still managed to make 17-of-45 attempts for 38 percent.

Ironton’s defense forced 16 turnovers.

“They play great defense. They make you earn everything you get. I like to think we do that, too. It was a good game both ways defensively. It was tournament style basketball,” said Graham.

Lexie Barrier scored 14 points and had seven rebounds along with two assists and two steals to pace Ironton.

Cheyenne Scott had 10 points, five rebounds and three steals while D’Laynie Keith came off the bench to get nine points and eight rebounds — seven on the offensive end.

“I told them before the game that big-time players step up in big-time moments. D’Laynie came in off that bench and played big time. She had a fabulous game. I was very proud of her efforts,” said Graham.

Keith said the Lady Tigers were well aware that Wheelersburg would bring its best game in order to spoil their season.

“We just knew this was going to be a big game and we really wanted to beat Wheelersburg and stay undefeated, so that was my motivation tonight. It was just keep pushing hard,” said Keith.

Wheelersburg (16-4) was led by Brittany Swim with nine points on three 3-pointers. MaKayla Akers and Laiken Salyers scored eight points each.

The Lady Tigers trailed most of the first quarter until Scott drained a 3-pointer for a 12-10 lead with 41 seconds on the clock. A layup by Barrier ended the quarter and it was 14-10.

Ironton opened up a 23-14 lead on a putback by Keith, a layup by Lexie Wise and a basket by Barrier off a slick pass from Sydney Webb at the 3:16 mark.

The Lady Pirates got within 24-20 on a layup by Akers but Barrier hit Wise with a pass that led to a layup and it was 26-20 at the break.

Webb’s trifecta and a layup by Wise gave Ironton a 35-25 leadd. A foul shot by Laiken Salyers hit a foul shot to end the quarter.

Barrier’s layup to begin the fourth quarter had the lead at 37-26.

Wheelersburg used a 3-poiner by Swim to trail 41-34, but Alyssa Lewis made a driving layup and Barrier connected on three foul shots to seal the win.

Ironton hosts Coal Grove on Thursday, South Webster on Saturday in the Tackett’s Body Shop Shootout and Rock Hill on Monday. Graham said all three teams are playing well.

“Ironton was 19-0 and we beat them. Ironton was 20-0 and we beat them. We’re going to get everyone’s best shot so my girls need to have that in mind and come in here focused and get ready for Coal Grove’s best shot,” said Graham.

Wheelersburg 10 10 6 10 = 36

Ironton 14 12 9 11 = 46

WHEELERSBURG (16-4): Ellie Ruby 2 0 1-2 5, Kalle Coleman 2 0 0-0 4, Brittany Swim 0 3 0-2 9, Sydney Holden 1 0 0-0 2, Makayla Akers 4 0 0-1 8, Abbie Kallner 0 0 0-0 0, Laiken Salyers 3 0 2-4 8, Catie Johnson 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15-29 3-9 36. 3-point goals: 3-10. Rebounds: 4-O, 17-D = 21 (Holden 5). Team rebounds: 5. Assists: 5 (Ruby 2, Coleman 2). Steals: 6 (Swim 2, Holden 2). Turnovers: 16. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None.

IRONTON (19-0): Jordan Hannan 1 0 0-0 2, Lexie Wise 3 0 0-1 6, Lexie Barrier 5 0 4-7 14, Sydney Webb 0 1 0-0 3, Cheyenne Scott 0 2 4-4 10, D’Laynie Keith 4 0 1-3 9, Alyssa Lewis 1 0 0-0 2, Zakia Lee 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-45 9-15 46. 3-point goals: 3-12. Rebounds: 14-O, 15-D = 29 (Keith 8, Barrier 7, Scott 5). Team rebounds: 4. Assists: 6 (Webb 2, Barrier 2). Steals: 10 (Scott 3, Barrier 2, Wise 2). Turnovers: 10. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.