Lady Fighting Tigers see defense as key to victory

Published 12:11 am Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ Ellie Williams takes aim as she hits a 3-pointer in a 49-37 win over the Ashland Kittens on Monday. (Tony Shotsky/Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker

A sneak-peak was all the Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers needed to see.
The Lady Tigers got their eyes full of the Ashland Kittens on Saturday when they played Portsmouth Notre Dame in the Tackett’s Body Shop Shootout.
Ellie Williams used the opportunity to get a preview of Kittens’ leading scorer Julie Parker of whom she would guard on Monday.
The Lady Tigers turned in a strong defensive effort as they beat the Kittens 49-37 and Williams held Parker to just 5 points.
“I’m not going to take the credit for that. Ellie Williams wanted her. She got a chance to set eyes on (Parker) Saturday and she did a great job on her. I think she had her almost the whole night,” said Ironton coach Doug Graham.
“Riley Schreck and Evan Williams were on (Carley Cullop) their point guard. You can’t let (Ashland) get in their rhythm and run their sets. We’re picking them up at half-court and disrupting their sets a little bit. If they’re a half-second or a second off, that’s what you want.”
Ironton is now 18-3 on the season and their three losses are by a combined total of 4 points.
The Lady Fighting Tigers not only played well defensively as they held Ashland to 3-of-15 from behind the arc, but had one of their better shooting performances of the season by making 19-of-32- shots 59.4 percent.
Ironton was 4-of-13 from the 3-point line meaning they shot 15-of-19 from 2-point range for 79 percent.
Lexie Arden led Ironton with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and a blocked shot. Samantha LaFon had 12 points and 5 rebounds with a block, Scheck had 7 points, 3 assists and 4 steals, and Ellie Williams 10 points including a pair of 3-pointers.
Arden, Schreck, Lydia Hannan, Ellie Williams and Abbie Patterson are Ironton’s five seniors.
“Lexie does things I don’t coach,” said Graham. “All the seniors are really smart kids. Lydia Hannan is our point guard and she’s played for me for four years. She has an idea of how we do things. They’re a great group.”
Ashland (14-7) was led by Morgan Bradley with 12 points and Makayla Martin with 9 points and 4 rebounds.
Ashland led 8-2 early before Ellie Williams hit a 3-pointer and then made a layup off a pass from Arden and it was 8-7.
Martin and LaFon traded baskets and the Kittens led 12-9 at the end of the quarter.
Bradley and LaFon exchanged 3-point plays to begin the second quarter but then Arden hit a baseline shot, a layup and her 3-pointer at the 1:17 mark tied the game at 19.
Bradey’s layup gave Ashland a brief lead and LaFon’s short jumper tied the game at the break.
Ironton’s defense really went into shutdown mode in the third quarter by holding Ashland without a field goal and only 5 free throws.
“We got down and we came back. I think we only gave up five points in the third quarter. That went a long way in winning the game,” said Graham.
Ellie Williams took a pass from Arden and hit a 15-footer as Ironton took a 23-21 lead at the 6:21 mark and never trailed.
Arden and Ellie Williams had 3-pointers for a 29-23 lead and Arden’s 3-point play with 38 seconds on the clock put Ironton ahead 34-26 to end the quarter.
A putback by LaFon and a layup by Evan Williams gave Ironton a 42-28 lead and a steal and layup by Schreck and two free throws by Hannan put Ironton ahead 47-31 for its biggest lead.
UP NEXT: Ironton goes to Fairland on Thursday.
Ashland 12 4 5 11 = 37
Ironton 9 12 13 15 = 49
ASHLAND (14-7): Morgan Bradley 4 1 1-1 12, Syd Sorrell 2 0 0-0 4, Carley Cullop 0 0 2-2 2, Julie Parker 1 1 0-0 5, Mikayla Martin 3 0 3-4 9, Jada Miller 0 1 0-0 3, Emma Withrow 0 0 0-0 0, Angelina Patel 1 0 0-0 2, Casey Wallenfelsz 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-31 6-7 37. 3-pt goals: 3-15. Rebounds: 5-O, 8-D = 13 (Martin 4, Sorrell 3). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 6 (Cullop 2, Martin 2). Steals: 7 (Sorrell 3, Parker 3). Turnovers: 11. Fouls: 10. Fouled out: None.
IRONTON (18-3): Riley Schreck 3 0 1-1 7, Lydia Hannan 0 0 2-2 2, Ellie Williams 2 2 0-0 10, Abbie Patterson 0 0 0-0 0, Lexie Arden 4 2 1-1 15, Samantha LaFon 5 0 2-2 12, Evan Williams 1 0 1-1 3, Kameren Arden 0 0 0-0 0, Teagan Carpenter 0 0 0-0 0, Kaitlin Cecil 0 0 0-0 0, Isabel Morgan 0 0 0-0 0, Shayleigh Carmon 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-32 7-8 49. 3-pt goals: 4-13. Rebounds: 5-O, 12-D = 17 (L. Arden 5, LaFon 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 2. Assists: 13 (L. Arden 4, Schreck 3). Steals: 9 (Schreck 4, L. Arden 2). Blocks: 2 (L. Arden, LaFon). Turnovers: 12. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None.

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