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Cold-shooting Lady Tigers fall short against Russell

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ Taiya Hamlet (42) battles with Russell Lady Red Devils’ Madison Darnell (10) for rebounding position during Thursday’s game. Russell held off a late rally by Ironton to post a 65-54 win. (Tim Gearhart of Tim’s News & Novelties, Park Ave. in Ironton)

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ Taiya Hamlet (42) battles with Russell Lady Red Devils’ Madison Darnell (10) for rebounding position during Thursday’s game. Russell held off a late rally by Ironton to post a 65-54 win. (Tim Gearhart of Tim’s News & Novelties, Park Ave. in Ironton)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

You might get by with going 1-for-4 in baseball, but that’s not a very good average for basketball.
The Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers struggled with their shooting for three quarters, making just 13-of-42 shots for 31 percent.
They finally caught fire in the fourth quarter but it wasn’t enough to erase a 20-point deficit as the Lady Tigers lost 65-54 to the Russell Lady Red Devils on Thursday.
“If we play (the whole game) like we did in the fourth quarter, I like our chances. We were aggressive on offense and played well. We move the ball and worked the ball. Defensively we’ve got to work. We’ve got some improvement to do,” said Ironton coach Doug Graham.
Despite their shooting woes, the Lady Fighting Tigers still managed to stay within striking distance until late in the third quarter.
Russell (9-4) was able to get a 10-point first half lead behind the scoring of 5-foot-11 Maggie Jachimczuk who scored 17 of her 25 points, mostly on easy layups.
“They capitalized on their easy opportunities and I think we left a couple of baskets out there on the floor, especially in the first half. They hit their easy ones and we didn’t,” said Graham.

Ironton led 6-2 to start the game and tied the game at 8-8 and then 16-16 on a trifecta by Sydney Webb with 5:46 left in the first half.
But Ironton never got any closer.
Jachimczuk made a layup and Rachel Michael hit a 3-pointer for a 21-16 lead the Lady Devils would never relinquish.
Jachimczuk and Madison Darnell had layups to end the half and give Russell a 32-22 lead.
Five different players scored in the third quarter as Russell took a 49-30 lead. A baseline shot by Haylee Stevens got Ironton within 49-32 with five seconds on the clock.
A 3-pointer by Darnell gave Russell its biggest lead of 52-32 with 7:01 to play and the game appeared to be decided.
But a 3-pointer by Webb at the 4:07 mark began the Ironton comeback and a 12-0 run.
Lexie Arden had a steal and layup, Alyssa Lewis hit a triple, Webb made a short jumper and Lexi Wise drove for a layup and suddenly Ironton trailed just 56-50 with 1:50 to go.
Ironton gave up a couple of offensive rebounds as Russell regrouped. Darnell was 6-of-9 from the foul line over the final 1:20 and Jachimczuk converted a 3-point play that gave the Lady Devils a 61-50 lead.
Ironton fell to 6-2 on the season but Graham is not about to hit the panic button.
“Like I told the girls, this is step eight in a 22-step process to be playing our best basketball in February, so we know we have some things we need to work on now. That’s what we’ll get to working on in practice,” said Graham.
Ironton visits Wheelersburg on Monday and hosts Chesapeake next Thursday.
Russell        12    20    17    16    =    65
Ironton       10    12    10    22    =    54
RUSSELL (9-4): Ty Mitchell 4 1 0-0 11, Madison Darnell 3 1 10-13 19, Alexis Maynard 0 0 0-0 0, Maddie Jachimczuk 11 0 3-5 25, Rachel Michael 0 2 0-0 6, Kaeli Ross 1 0 0-0 2, Lakie Sanders 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 24-50 13-18 65. 3-point goals: 4-12. Rebounds: 8-O, 24-D = 32 (Jachimczuk 10, Mitchell 8). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 10 (Mitchell 3). Steals: 5 (Mitchell 2, Jachimczuk 2). Turnovers: 11. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: Mitchell (4th 2:58).
IRONTON (6-2): Sydney Webb 3 2 0-0 12, Lexi Wise 5 0 3-5 13, Alyssa Lewis 1 1 4-4 9, Riley Schreck 0 0 0-0 0, Lexie Arden 6 1 0-0 15, Haylee Stevens 1 0 0-0 2, Katie Boyer 0 0 0-0 0, Taiya Hamlet 1 0 1-2 3. Totals: 21-58 8-11 54. 3-point goals: 4-12. Rebounds: 15-O, 24-D = 39 (Arden 10, Wise 8, Webb 7). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 7 (Wise 3, Webb 2). Steals: 6 (Arden 3, Wise 2). Turnovers: 15. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None.