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Defense keys Lady Tigers’ win

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ Jordan Hannan (4) and Lexie Barrier (15) apply defensive pressure to Coal Grove Lady Hornets’ Lauren Crum (23). Ironton won 53-29. (Tony Shotsky of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ Jordan Hannan (4) and Lexie Barrier (15) apply defensive pressure to Coal Grove Lady Hornets’ Lauren Crum (23). Ironton won 53-29. (Tony Shotsky of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

Offense sells tickets while defense wins championships.

At lease that’s been the motto of the Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers.

The Lady Tigers turned in another strong defensive effort as they remained unbeaten with a 53-29 Ohio Valley Conference win over the Coal Grove Lady Hornets on Thursday.

Ironton has used its defense to win the OVC title for a second straight season and improved to 13-0 in the league and 20-0 overall.

“Defense was the key. We wanted to come in and work on defense and get after it. For the most part we did that. We did well defensively,” said Ironton coach Doug Graham.

Ironton forced 31 turnovers that included 19 steals, five by Lexie Wise and four by Sydney Webb.

Lexie Barrier led Ironton with 15 points, six rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocked shots. Wise added 10 points to balanced offense.

Coal Grove (8-12, 4-10) was playing its third game in four days and coach Rick Roach said the schedule took its toll on his team.

“We did not play with the intensity that we needed to play with. It was our third game in four days and the girls were a little tired,” said Roach.

“Ironton has a great team. Defensively, they get you to commit a lot of turnovers that lead to run-outs. My girls kept their heads up and continued to play.”

Emily Compliment led the Lady Hornets with 11 points and three rebounds. Lauren Crum had eight points and four rebounds while Kayee Beals had five rebounds.

A layup by Jordan Hannan off a pass from Barrier put Ironton up for good at 4-3 with 5:49 left in the first quarter.

Wise had a steal and layup and then found Webb alone under the basket for a layup at the buzzer to make it 18-7.

Compliment made a layup to begin the second quarter but Ironton scored 11 unanswered points to lead 29-9 with 3:21 to go in the half.

Crum’s basket stopped the run but Ironton then outscored the Lady Hornets 6-3 the rest of the way for a 35-14 halftime lead.

The Lady Tigers slowed the tempo offensively in the second half but still limited the Lady Hornets to 15 points.

“We had a chance to work on some things offensively and defensively, some things I want to see, some things I want to get better at,” said Graham.

On Saturday, Ironton plays South Webster at 5:15 p.m. on the all-day Tackett Shootout at the Conley Center. Coal Grove will play host to Rose Hill Christian.

Coal Grove 7 7 6 9 = 29

Ironton 18 17 12 6 = 53

COAL GROVE (8-12, 4-10): Kaylee Beals 1 0 1-1 3, Emily Compliment 5 0 1-2 11, Kasey Murphy 1 0 0-0 2, Destiny Dolen 0 0 2-2 2, Lauren Crum 2 0 4-5 8, Bailey McKnight 0 1 0-0 3, Mattie Malone 0 0 0-0 0, Amaya Waulk 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 10-28 8-10 29. 3-point goals: 1-2. Rebounds: 9-O, 19-D = 28 (Beals 5, Murphy 4, Crum 4). Teams rebounds: 5. Assists: 1. Steals: 4 (McKnight 2). Turnovers: 31. Fouls: 9. Fouled out: None.

IRONTON (20-0, 13-0): Kaylin Easterling 0 0 0-0 0, Jordan Hannan 3 0 0-0 6, Lexie Barrier 7 0 1-1 15, Sydney Webb 4 0 0-0 8, Cheyenne Scott 2 0 2-2 6, Lexie Wise 5 0 0-1 10, D’Laynie Keith 1 0 0-0 2, Zakia Lee 1 0 0-2 2, Alyssa Lewis 2 0 0-2 4. Totals: 25-54 3-8 53. 3-point goals: 0-8. Rebounds: 12-O, 11-D = 23 (Barrier 6, Keith 4). Team rebounds: 1. Assists: 12 (Wise 5, Barrier 3). Steals: 19 (Wise 5, Webb 4). Turnovers: 9. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.