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Lady Tigers have good time vs. Minutemen

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ senior guard Sydney Webb derives for a layup as she scores two of her 15 points in a 72-46 season-opening win over Lexington on Friday. (Tim Gearhart of Tim’s News & Novelties, Park Ave. in Ironton)

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ senior guard Sydney Webb derives for a layup as she scores two of her 15 points in a 72-46 season-opening win over Lexington on Friday. (Tim Gearhart of Tim’s News & Novelties, Park Ave. in Ironton)

Jim Walker

Beginning a new season is always an unknown adventure, but when you lose three starters from an unbeaten regular season team that finished 27-1 and in the Final Four, it’s even more of an adventure.
Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ coach Doug Graham had no idea what to expect from his team as it opened the season Friday night against the Division II Lexington Minutemen.
But the Lady Fighting Tigers gave him plenty of good ideas as they posted a 72-46 win.
“Going into your first game you never know what you’re going to get, especially with an opponent you’re unfamiliar with,” said Graham.
“But I thought my girls played hard. I thought they played together and were looking for the open man, especially in the second half they did better looking to throw the ball down the court a little bit quicker.”
Ironton senior guard Sydney Webb — a returning starter along with Lexi Wise — had 15 points including three 3-pointers, five rebounds, six assists and two steals.
Webb had nothing but praise for her teammates.
“It was very exciting and nerve-racking, but once we got out on the floor I just blocked it out. This is what I do. I just went out there and did it,” said Webb.
“We did start a little off at the beginning, but once we got into it we were on the same page. We played well. I was impressed with my teammates.”
Freshman Lexie Arden started slow with 4 points in the first half but got 18 in the second half to finish with a game-high 22.
Alyssa Lewis had 18 points, six rebounds and three steals. Wise finished with 8 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds.
Ironton was outrebounded by the taller Minutemen 37-31, but Graham was still impressed with how his girls played inside.

“I liked how our girls battled their big girls. Lydia Hannan, Katie Boyer, Taiya Hamlet, Lexie Arden, Lexi Wise inside, using their bodies, using their feet, using their hips, using their arms. That’s what we’re going to need this year,” said Graham.
Abigail Adams had 15 points and Olivia Kearns 12 points for Lexington (0-2). Julia Kocher had 11 rebounds.
Webb began the season’s scoring as she buried a 3-pointer at the 6:34 mark. She hit another shot with 1:34 left in the quarter and Lydia Hannan knocked down a triple with 31 seconds on the clock as Ironton went up 15-5.
But five turnovers early in the second quarter enabled Lexington to put within 17-15 at the 6:04 mark on a layup by Courtney Gouge.
Leading 19-17, Lewis made a layup, Wise a foul shot and Webb scored 5 points including a trifecta with 2:21 left in the half to a 27-17 lead and Ironton carried the 10-point cushion into the break at 31-21.
Ironton had five more turnovers in the third quarter and the Minutemen were within 33-26 on a 3-pointer by Olivia Kearns at the 6:46 mark.
But the Lady Tigers gook over from there in the form of Arden who hit a turn around jumper, converted a 3-point play, sank two foul shots, connected on a 3-point goal and hit another shot as she scored 12 points in the quarter and the lead grew to 51-36.
A 3-ball by Webb and a layup by Arden off a pass from Webb push the lead to 60-43. Lewis then sealed the deal with a 3-pointer of her own followed by a layup off another pass from Webb.
“(Webb and Wise) see the floor well,” said Graham. “Lexie Arden had like a 50-yard touchdown pass in the second half that was unbelievable. So I was impressed with how they shared the ball,” said Graham.
Ironton visits Portsmouth on Monday in an Ohio Valley Conference game.
Lexington    5    16    15    10    =    46
Ironton       15    16    20    21    =    72
LEXINGTON (0-2): Courtney Gouge 3 0 1-1 7, Charlotte Kuhn 0 1 0-0 3, Gabby Stover 0 0 0-2 0, Julia Kocher 4 0 0-6 8, Olivia Karns 3 2 0-1 12, Abilgail Adams 2 3 2-3 15, Shelby Miller 0 0 0-0 0, Paige Massa 0 0 0-0 0, Sarah Pfizenmayer 0 0 0-2 0, Domonique Windom 0 0 0-0 0, Lauren Speelman 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-52 3-15 46. 3-point goals: 6-22. Rebounds: 15-O, 22-D = 37 (Kocher 11, Gouge 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 7. Assists: 6 (Kearns 2). Steals: 8 (Stover 3). Turnovers: 25. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None.
IRONTON (1-0): Sydney Webb 3 3 0-0 15, Lexi Wise 3 0 2-4 8, Alyssa Lewis 6 1 3-4 18, Lydia Hannan 0 1 0-0 3, Lexie Arden 8 1 3-5 22, Taiya Hamlet 1 0 0-0 2, Riley Schreck 1 0 1-2 3, Haylee Stevens 0 0 0-0 0, Katie Boyer 0 0 0-0 0, Elli Williams 0 0 1-2 1, Faith Hughes 0 0 0-0 0, Reece Stager 0 0 0-0 0, Sophie Caines 0 0 0-2 0. Totals: 28-52 10-19 72. 3-point goals: 6-14. Rebounds: 7-O, 24-D = 31 (Wise 7, Lewis 6, Webb 5, Arden 4). Team/deadball: 3. Assists: 16 (Wise 7, Webb 6). Steals: 17 (Hannan 4, Lewis 3, Arden 3). Turnovers: 16. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: None.