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Lady Tigers lose 38-37 heartbreaker in district semifinals

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

WAVERLY — The only grinders the Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers wanted to see on Saturday were sandwiches.
In a game that had tough defense, physical play and low shooting percentages, the Lady Tigers lost a 38-37 heartbreaker to the North Adams Lady Green Devils in the Division III district semifinals.
Ironton shot 16-of-50 from the field for 32 percent and North Adams was 16-of-49 for 32.6 percent.
“This was a grind out game and in that kind of game you have to find some offense,” said Ironton coach Doug Graham.
“We need to score. We needed to take advantage of the opportunities they gave us. We got some open shots and didn’t hit them. We needed to get more people in our offense to step up.”
Lexi Wise led Ironton with 18 points — 12 in the second half — and came close to sending her team to the district finals but her running 13-footer at the buzzer hit off to the right of the rim.
She also had 16 rebounds and three assists.
“It was a tough loss. Our girls played hard. We just didn’t make shots,” said Graham. “Lexi Wise played like she was two seniors. She’s been a great point guard for us. She’s going to be hard to replace.”
Lexie Arden — double teamed and the target of the North Adams’ defense — finished with nine points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals and three blocked shots.
Ironton (19-6) had a 40-29 rebound advantage including 14-9 on the offensive glass.
North Adams (19-3) was led by 6-foot-1 Avery Harper with 16 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots.
Harper gave the Devils a 2-0 lead but then Ironton scored nine straight points — five by Wise and four by Ellie Williams.
Grace McDowell hit a 3-pointer that made it 9-5 at the end of the quarter.
A long trifecta by Arden and a foul shot by Wise put Ironton up 15-10 with 3:36 left in the half.
But Ironton didn’t score again until Arden’s layup with 1:04 on the clock for a 17-15 lead. Harper’s layup with 17 seconds left tied the game 17-17 at the half.
North Adams went up 25-20 with 3:12 left in the third quarter on a 15-footer by Harper.
Lydia Hannan made a layup and Wise hit two straight and Ironton was back on top at 26-25.
Harper’s putback and a 3-point by Laykn Hupp gave North Adams a 30-26 lead at the end of the quarter.
Two foul shots by Harper put the North Adams lead at 38-32 with 3:19 to play. Wise made a layup, Haylee Stevens drilled a 19-footer and Wise had a layup to get Ironton within 38-37 with 35 seconds to go.
North Adams missed the front end of a one-and-one with 13 seconds to play and Arden got the rebound.
The Lady Devils knocked a pass out of bounds and Ironton was forced to throw the ball in with three seconds left.
Wise took the inbounds pass and raced toward the basket and put up the final shot.
Ironton       9    8    9    11    =    37
North Adams    5    12    12    8    =    38
IRONTON (19-6): Riley Schreck 1 0 0-0 2, Lexi Wise 7 0 4-7 18, Lydia Hannan 1 0 0-1 2, Elli Williams 2 0 0-0 4, Lexie Arden 3 1 0-0 9, Haylee Stevens 1 0 0-0 2, Katie Boyer 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-50 4-8 37. 3-pt goals: 1-12. Rebounds: 14-O, 26-D = 40 (Wise 16, Arden 5, Hannan 5). Team rebounds: 6. Assists: 6 (Arden 3, Wise 3). Steals: 5 (Arden 2). Blocks: 3 (Arden 3). Turnovers: 18. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None.
NORTH ADAMS (19-3): Laykn Hupp 1 1 0-1 5, Madee Shipley 0 1 0-0 3, Taylor Hesler 1 0 0-1 2, Avery Harper 7 0 2-2 16, Grace McDowell 1 1 0-1 5, Brooklyn Stout 1 0 1-1 3, Brooklyn Wylie 0 0 0-0 0, Delaney Harper 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 16-49 3-6 38. 3-pt goals: 3-16. Rebounds: 9-O, 20-D = 29 (A. Harper 14, McDowell 6). Team rebounds: 3. Assists: 7 (Hupp 2, A. Harper 2). Steals: 9 (Stout 3). Blocks: 4 (A. Harper 3). Turnovers: 16. Fouls: 9. Fouled out: None.