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Lady Tigers upset bid of Lady Mustangs falls short

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ Haylee Stevens (22) reaches in and ties up Lynchburg-Clay’s Serena Smith during Saturday’s sectional finals. Ironton lost, 46-43. (Photo Courtesy of Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

LUCASVILLE — The big favorites gave a big sigh of relief.
The Lynchburg-Clay Lady Mustangs escaped an upset bid by the Ironton Lady Fighting Tiger 46-43 on Saturday to win the Division III sectional tournament.
The Lady Tigers were facing a 19-3 team that was ranked 16th in the final Associated Press poll and featured All-Ohio guard Peyton Scott who is the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,143 points.
A Miami, Ohio, recruit, the 5-foot-7 Scott finished with 26 points to match her season average. Zoe Fittro scored 12 points — all on 3-pointers in the first half.
Ironton (11-13) had a balanced offense led by Haylee Stevens with 12 points on four 3-pointers. Samantha LaFon had 11 points and nine rebounds, Riley Schreck nine points on three 3-pointers and Elli Williams with seven points, nine rebounds and three assists.
Down 8-5 early, Ironton tied the game at 8-8 on a trifecta by Schreck with two minutes left in the first quarter only to have Scott score six straight points and it was 14-8 at the end of the quarter.
Fittro hit a pair of 3-pointers to begin the second quarter and it was 20-8.
LaFon’s layup ended the 12-0 run but Scott’s layup gave Lynchburg-Clay at 27-12 with 2:42 left in the half.
Two foul shots by Lydia Hannan and 3-pointers from Stevens and Schreck got Ironton within 29-20.
Sierra Benney sank two foul shots with one second left in the half and the Lady Mustangs led 31-20 at the break.
Williams hit a 15-footer and a 3-pointer to start the second half as Ironton closed the gap to 31-25.
Benney hit a 3-pointer for the Lady Mustangs and it was 34-25, but LaFon scored five straight points and Schreck drained a 3-pointer as Ironton cut the deficit to 34-33 with 1:08 on the clock.
A layup by Scott and a free throw by Benney made it 37-33 to end the quarter.
But Stevens knocked down a 3-pointer and Lydia Hannan’s driving layup gave Ironton its first lead since the first basket of the game, 38-37.
Scott’s free throw and 13-footer put the Lady Mustangs back on top at 40-38.
Ironton was down 42-40 but Lynchburg turned two turnovers into a three-point play by Scott and another foul shot by Scott made it 46-40 with 1:19 to go.
Stevens hit a 3-pointer with time running out and the Lady Mustangs were able to run out the clock.
Ironton was 8-of-21 from the 3-point line while Lynchburg-Clay was 7-of-11 including 6-of-7 in the first half.
The Lady Mustangs were 15-of-36 from the field and 9-of-14 at the line. Ironton hit 16-of-38 shots and 3-of-6 at the line.
Ironton 8 12 13 10 = 43
Lynchburg 14 17 6 9 = 46
IRONTON (11-13): Riley Schreck 0 3 0-0 9, Samantha LaFon 5 0 1-1 11, Lydia Hannan 1 0 2-2 4, Elli Williams 2 1 0-0 7, Haylee Stevens 0 4 0-0 12, Kameren Arden 0 0 0-0 0, Jada Rogers 0 0 0-0 0, Abigail Patterson 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-38 3-6 43. 3-pt goals: 8-21. Rebounds: 10-O, 17-D = 27 (Williams 9, LaFon 9). Assists: 7 (Williams 3, Hannan 2). Steals: 2. Turnovers: 10. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None.
LYNCHBURG-CLAY (20-3): Zoe Fittro 0 4 0-0 12, Peyton Scott 7 2 6-10 26, Serena Smith 0 0 0-0 0, Chelsea Hart 0 0 0-0 0, Kaylee Lunsford 0 0 0-0 0, Sierra Benney 0 1 3-4 6, Logan Binkley 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 15-36 9-14 46. 3-pt goals: 7-11. Rebounds: 6-O, 13-D = 19 (Scott 5, Lunsford 4). Team/deadball rebounds: 2. Assists: 5 (Scott 4). Steals: 4 (Scott 3). Turnovers: 6. Fouls: 7. Fouled out: None.