Tempo holds key to regional title

Published 2:14 am Friday, March 4, 2016

Jim Walker



LOGAN — Walk, don’t run.

That seems to be the hopes of the game’s tempo for the West Lafayette Ridgewood Lady Generals when they face the Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers in the regional finals on Saturday.

Ironton (26-0) will face the Lady Generals (20-7) at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday in the Division III regional championship game.

The winner advances to the state tournament at 3 p.m. on Thursday against the winner of Metamora Evergreen (22-2) and Columbus Africentric (21-5) in the state semifinals at the Ohio State University Schottenstein Center.

The game will match contrasting styles. Ironton prefers to press and get a fast tempo while Ridgewood is more of a half-court offense that not only works for good shots but knocks the shots down.

“They shoot the ball well and it’s not just one or two players. They have a couple of players who score a lot of points, but all their players are capable of hitting from anywhere on the floor,” said Ironton coach Doug Graham.

Ridgewood has played well throughout the tournament. The Lady Generals beat Bellaire 77-40, Richmond Edison 61-30, Tuscaraway Valley 64-44 and Sugarcreek Garaway 58-41 in the district finals before knocking off Lynchburg Clay 74-54 in the regional semifinals.

In the win over Lynchburg, junior Audrey Tingle scored 25 points including four 3-pointers and senior Kaitlyn Finton had 24 points with nine rebounds. Morgan McDorman added 10 points.

The 5-foot-6 Tingle was a first team East All-District selection and shared the Player of the Year award. The 6-1 Finton was named to the all-district third team.

Tingle averaged 17 points a game while Finton scored at a 9.1 clip.

“Tingle is one of the better guards we’ve faced. You can’t let her get open because she’s a dead-eye shot,” said Graham.

“Finton is a big girl who moves well and can go outside and hit the shot. She doesn’t stand around the basket the whole game. They create a lot of match-up problems.”

McDorman — a 5-4 senior — will be the other guard with 5-10 junior Eliza Haynes and 5-9 sophomore Erin Buchanan the forwards.

The top players off the bench are 5-11 junior Autumn Brown and 5-5 sophomore Rylee Young.

“They don’t play a lot of players, but they handle the press well and they are very disciplined on offense and play well defensively. They’re a good team and they’re on a roll. They’re playing their best ball of the season right now,” said Graham.

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers (26-0)

No. Player Pos. Ht. Gr.

4 Jordan Hannan G 5-07 Sr.

5 Lexie Wise PG 5-09 So.

15 Lexie Barrier F 5-11 Sr.

23 Sydney Webb G 5-07 Jr.

44 Cheyenne Scott C 5-09 Sr.

Top Reserves

10 D’Laynie Keith F 5-09 Jr.

11 Zakia Lee C 6-00 Jr.

24 Alyssa Lewis G 5-06 Jr.

Head coach: Doug Graham

West Lafayette Ridgewood

Lady Generals (20-7)

No. Player Pos. Ht. Gr.

5 Audrey Tingle G 5-06 Jr.

12 Eliza Haynes F 5-10 Jr.

14 Erin Buchanan F 5-09 So.

34 Morgan McDorman G 5-04 Sr.

40 Kaitlyn Finton C 6-01 Sr.

Top Reserves

11 Autumn Brown F-C 5-11 Jr.

15 Rylee Young G 5-05 So.

Head coach: Doug Patterson