Lady Tigers rally by Chesapeake

Published 2:00 am Friday, January 6, 2017

Jim Walker

The game made have been a blur, but the outcome left a clear message as far as Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ coach Doug Graham is concerned.
Playing their worst game of the season — maybe even in his 11-year coaching tenure — the Lady Tigers rallied from an 11-point deficit in the game to beat the Chesapeake Lady Panthers 35-31 in an Ohio Valley Conference game on Thursday.
“I don’t know how we won. But a win’s a win and I’ll take it any day of the week,” said Graham.
“There’s not a whole lot to say about this game. It was a tough game to watch. We didn’t set the world on fire, that’s for sure. But I’ll take a win every day of the week instead of a loss. A bad win or a good loss?  There’s no win that’s bad.”
A key part of the comeback was Ironton’s pressure that forced 32 Chesapeake turnovers — 19 in the second half and 12 in the fourth quarter.
“That was part of the goal coming into the game to pressure them. We didn’t do a good enough job throughout the entire stretch of the game. We did it when it counted. I wish we would have done it throughout the whole game,” said Graham.
Chesapeake coach Chris Ball said turnovers and Ironton’s pressure were the key factors in the outcome.
“We had too many turnovers. We kept rushing ourselves. We needed to just slow it down. But Ironton had something to do with that,” said Ball.
The Lady Tigers led 8-6 at the end of the first quarter but didn’t score in the second quarter as they missed all 10 field goal attempts.
“If we fell out of a boat we couldn’t hit the water. We had some makeable shots, we just didn’t make them,” said Graham.
Chesapeake was just 2-of-8 in the quarter but a 3-point goal by Dominique Murphy put the Lady Panthers up 9-8 and they never trailed again until less than two minutes were left to play.
A baseline shot by Shia Ervin put the Lady Panthers up 13-8 at the half.
Ironton went on a 5-0 run to begin the second half and tied the game at 13 on a layup by Lexie Arden at the 6:45 mark.
But Murphy made a layup and a foul shot and Natalee Hall hit two free throws and Jozy Jones made a layup and Chesapeake went back on top20-15.
Two layups by Hall put the Lady Panthers up 25-18 at the end of the third quarter.
Another layup by Hall and two foul shots by Jones gave Chesapeake its biggest lead of the game at 29-18 with 7:10 to play.
A layup by Lexi Wise, a steal and 10-footer by Sydney Webb and another basket by Wise got Ironton within 29-22.
Webb hit a baseline shot off a pass from Riley Schreck and it was 31-28, Alyssa Lewis made two foul shots and Arden’s short jumper with 1:27 to play gave Ironton the lead at 32-31.
Arden was fouled with 21 seconds to go and hit both shots for a 34-31 lead. After a missed 3-pointer by Chesapeake, Arden made the second of two free throws with five seconds left to set the final score.
“What I will say about our girls, they fought and persevered and they tried and really fought to come back in it and I’m really proud of their effort to come back in that fourth quarter,” said Graham.
“When we were down 11 with six or seven minutes left, things looked really bleak. Somehow they made some turnovers, got some easy looks, went to the free throw line, they moved the ball well, things that could have been done the whole game.”
Arden led all scorers with 16 points and had 7 rebounds. Wise had 9 points, 12 rebounds and 5 steals for Ironton (7-3, 5-1).
Hall had 11 points and 9 rebounds for Chesapeake (7-2, 3-2).
In league games on Monday, Ironton visits South Point and Chesapeake goes to Coal Grove.
Chesapeake    6    7    12    6    =    31
Ironton       8    0    10    17    =    35
CHESAPEAKE (7-2, 3-2): Haley Stapleton 1 0 0-0 2, Brooke Webb 1 0 1-4 3, Jozy Jones 2 0 2-2 6, Dominique Murphy 1 1 2-6 7, Natalee Hall 4 0 3-6 11, Karli Davis 0 0 0-0 0, Shia Ervin 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 11-35 8-18 31. 3-point goals: 1-5. Rebounds: 9-O, 26-D = 35 (Hall 9, Webb 6, Jones 6, Murphy 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 1. Steals: 11 (Murphy 3, Webb 2, Hall 2, Stapleton 2, Ervin 2). Turnovers: 32. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.
IRONTON (7-3, 4-1): Sydney Webb 2 0 0-0 4, Lexi Wise 4 0 1-2 9, Alyssa Lewis 0 0 4-6 4, Taiya Hamlet 1 0 0-0 2, Lexie Arden 6 0 4-8 16, Haylee Stevens 0 0 0-0 0, Katie Boyer 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13-48 9-16 35. 3-point goals: 0-12. Rebounds: 13-O, 21-D = 34 (Wise 12, Arden 7, Webb 4). Team/deadball rebounds: 3. Assists: 5 (Webb 2). Steals: 19 (Wise 5, Hamlet 4, Webb 3). Turnovers: 24. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None.

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