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Lady Fighting Tigers down SP to reach Div. 3 district finals

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ Evan Williams (24) drives for a layup as South Point Lady Pointers’ Sarah Mitchell defends. Ironton won 39-26 in the Division 3 district semifinals on Saturday at Waverly. (Photo By Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

WAVERLY — If you want to save money, feed the pig. If you want to rack up points, feed the post.
The Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers kept working the ball inside and the result was 23 points for center Samantha LaFon and a 39-26 win over the South Point Lady Pointers in the Division 3 district semifinal on Saturday.
Ironton had a decisive height advantage inside and South Point tried to adjust its defense to prevent the post scoring.
LaFon had just 4 points in the first half but found her appetite for offense in the second half with 19 points including all 11 points in the third quarter.
“That was the point of emphasis at halftime. We had to come out with different scenarios of where we were going to put girls on the floor. They were doubling and triple teaming her so we had to adjustment a little bit,” said Ironton coach Doug Graham.
A layup by Lydia Hannan gave Ironton a 9-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Emilee Whitt had a layup for South Point to start the second quarter but Ironton used a 3-pointer by Elli Williams and a layup by LaFon to lead 14-5.
Kimrie Staley got a layup and Emilee Carey nailed a 3-pointer as South Point got within 14-10 at the break.
“We had a 14-5 lead in the second quarter and we let them get a little bit of hope by scoring five and sending it to the locker room at 14-10,” said Graham.
Maddy Khounlavong’s layup narrowed the deficit to 14-12 to start the second half for the Lady Pointers.
LaFon then got a putback on Ironton’s fifth shot in the sequence and a follow-up of her own miss made it 18-12.
LaFon had three straight layups and it was 29-13 with 2:29 left in the quarter. But the Lady Pointers’ Diamond Crawley hit a 3-pointer and Khounlavong drove for a layup and it was 24-18 to end the quarter.
Hannan found LaFon inside for a layup and Evan Hannan’s layup with 4:16 left gave Ironton a 29-18 lead.’
Two foul shots by Whitt and one by Khounlavong closed the gap to 31-23, but Arden threw to LaFon inside for a layup, Hannan made her own layup and Arden knocked down a pair of foul shots for a 37-23 lead with just 1:06 to play.
“At the end of the game we turned it over two or three times in a row. So, we’ll have to look at that on film and see what we and do better and then practice it,” said Graham.
“We’re happy to come out with a win and to come out in the second half and play the way we’re capable of playing.”
Neither team shot well. Ironton was 16-of-46 from the field for 34 percent and South Point was 9-of-48 for a mere 18.8 percent.
Ironton dominated the glass with a 38-to-14 rebound advantage. LaFon had 12 rebounds, Evan Williams 7, Hannan 6 and Arden 5. Arden had 5 assists and Hannan 4.
Whitt and Khounlavong scored 8 points each to lead the Lady Pointers. Whitt and Staley had 4 rebounds each while Whitt had 3 assists and Khounlavong 3 steals.
UP NEXT: Ironton plays North Adams at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 29, in Waverly for the district championship.
“North Adams is playing hot. They’ve beat the No. 1 and No. 2 seed teams in the last two weeks,” said Graham.
South Point 3 7 8 8 = 26
Ironton 9 5 11 14 = 39
SOUTH POINT (16-9): Emilee Whitt 2-6 0-3 4-6 8, Maddy Khounlavong 2-3 1-3 1-2 8, Emilee Carey 1-4 1-6 0-0 5, Diamond Crawley 0-2 1-3 0-0 3, Kimrie Staley 1-3 0-0 0-0 2, Sarah Mitchell 0-0 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 9-48 5-8 26. 3-pt goals: 3-15. Rebounds: 2-O, 12-D = 14 (Whitt 4, Staley 4). Team/deadball rebounds: 2. Assists: 4 (Whitt 3, Khounlavong 1). Steals: 11 (Khounlavong 3, Whitt 3, Carey 3). Turnovers: 11. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.
IRONTON (22-3): Samantha LaFon 10-22 0-0 3-4 23, Lydia Hannan 2-5 0-2 0-0 4, Elli Williams 0-2 2-3 0-0 6, Evan Williams 1-3 0-3 0-0 2, Lexie Arden 1-4 0-2 2-2 4, Kameren Arden 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Teagan Carpenter 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Abbie Patterson 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Isabel Morgan 0-0 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-46 5-6 39. 3-pt goals: 2-10. Rebounds: 18-O, 20-D = 38 (LaFon 12, Ev. Williaims 7, Hannan 6, L. Arden 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 6. Assists: 10 (L. Arden 5, Hannan 4). Steals: 9 (LaFon 3, Hannan 2). Turnovers: 16. Fouls: 8. Fouled out: None.