Lady Tigers alter plans to beat Jeeps
Will Ferrell and Bill Murray aren’t the only people who can improvise against a script.
The Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers made adjustments on the run Saturday as they beat the South Webster Lady Jeeps 57-46 in the Tackett’s Body Shop Shootout at the Conley Sports Center.
The Lady Jeeps used an extended zone to try and double-team Ironton’s Lexie Barrier as well as keep the other players out of the lane.
While there was some success, the Lady Jeeps found Ironton more than up to the challenge as Barrier scored 23 points, Cheyenne Scott 16 and Sydney Webb 10 to keep the Lady Tigers hopes of a first-ever unbeaten season alive.
“In the playoffs you can’t script everything. You’ve got to be able to improvise and the girls did a good job of improvising and making plays, rebounds, defensive stops. I’m proud of what they did,” said Ironton coach Doug Graham.
Ironton (21-0) will host Rock Hill on Monday in their regular season finale.
South Webster (17-3) was led by Kacie Hall with 12 points and nine rebounds. Ellie Jo Johnson and Cheyenne Weakley added 11 points each.
“South Webster is a really good team. (Ellie Jo) Johnson is tough. She has a nice move inside. She’s only a sophomore. She’s going to be a force to be reckoned with. Hall is quick, she can get to the hole and knock down threes. They’re going to win a lot more ballgames,” said Graham.
Ironton had a 7-2 lead early but the Lady Jeeps got within 14-11 at the end of the first quarter.
Scott’s putback made it 20-16 but A 3-pointer by Weakley gave the Lady Jeeps their only lead of the game at 22-20 with 3:51 left in the half.
Barrier had a three-point play for a 28-24 lead but Kimber Johnson made a foul shot and a layup to get South Webster within 28-27 at the break.
Webb jump started the Lady Tigers in the second half with a layup, a baseline jumper and a key trifecta at the 5:13 mark that made it 37-30.
Barrier had a putback and then muscled her way in for a layup and it was 43-32. The Lady Jeeps drew within 43-34 at the end of the quarter with a couple of foul shots.
“Barrier is so strong and quick and powerful and can finish with either hand. She does a lot of things that amaze me and I’ve seen her play I don’t know how many games,” said Graham.
Scott’s layup and Barrier follow up shot gave Ironton its biggest lead at 47-34 with 6:37 left, but the Lady Jeeps cut the lead to 47-42. Scott then drained a big 3-pointer at the 2:49 mark to open up a 50-42 lead.
“Cheyenne hit a big three whenever we hit a little drought offensively that got us going back into the scoring mode. We did a good job offensively and defensively,” said Graham.
The Lady Jeeps were forced to foul and Ironton struggled. Graham didn’t buy the notion it was due to the Lady Tigers playing four games in six days.
“I told the girls that they’re going to foul you and to just calmly step up to the line, bend your knees and follow through. You’d think we’d never work on that stuff so I think it’s probably more mental right now than anything,” said Graham.
Ironton was only 8-of-22 from the foul line for the game and 7-of-13 in the fourth quarter. However, Scott was 4of-4 over the final 24 seconds to seal the victory.
South Webster 11 16 7 12 = 46
Ironton 14 14 15 14 = 57
SOUTH WEBSTER (17-3): Kacie Hall 2 1 5-10 12, Ellie Jo Johnson 5 0 1-2 11, Madie Stamper 1 0 2-4 4, Kimber Johnson 3 0 2-4 8, Cheyenne Weakley 1 3 0-0 11, Avery Zempter 0 0 0-0 0, Alley Wilson 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-38 10-20 46. 3-point goals: 4-10. Rebounds: 7-O, 20-D = 27 (Hall 9, E. Johnson 5). Team rebounds: 5. Assists: 5 (Hall 3). Steals: 4 (Hall 2). Turnovers: 18. Fouls: 20. Fouled out: E. Johnson (4th 1:06), K. Johnson (4th 0:24).
IRONTON (21-0): Jordan Hannan 1 0 2-2 4, Lexie Wise 1 0 0-3 2, Lexie Barrier 9 1 2-11 23, Sydney Webb 2 2 0-0 10, Cheyenne Scott 3 2 4-5 16, Alyssa Lewis 0 0 0-1 0, D’Layne Keith 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 22-52 8-22 57. 3-point goals: 5-16. Rebounds: 15-O, 23-D = 38 (Barrier 11, Wise 9). Team rebounds: 4. Assists: 10 (Wise 4, Webb 3). Steals: 10 (Barrier 4, Wise 3, Hannan 2). Blocks: 4 (Barrier 2, Scott, Wise). Turnovers; 13. Fouls: 19. Fouled out: None.