For The Independent
For the first three quarters, Ironton’s offensive possessions were full of tentative turnovers, but the fourth quarter was all aggressive attacks at the basket.
Turns out more assertive also equals more points, as the Lady Tigers more than equaled their point production from the first three quarters (21) in the last eight minutes (23).
Ironton quickly erased Boyd County’s six-point lead after three quarters, relentlessly attacking to pull away for a 44-35 win at Ironton High School.
“We just got more aggressive to the basket,” said Ironton coach Doug Graham. “Boyd County was the much more aggressive team in the first two quarters, getting to the free-throw line and to the hoop and drawing fouls on us. We were able to start to get more penetration to the basket, more ball movement, and cutting to the basket.”
More often than not the Lady Tiger drives to the basket resulted in either two points or a trip to the free-throw line. In the fourth quarter, Ironton attempted 19 free throws, connecting on 13.
Boyd County (12-6) was also going to the foul line with great regularity in the fourth quarter, but they were unable to take advantage.
The Lady Lions made just four of their 12 shots from the charity stripe in the final period.
Boyd County also reverted back to its own first-half turnovers woes in the final period. After turning it over 11 times in the opening quarter, the Lady Lions committed just three miscues in the middle two periods before racking up five down the stretch.
“We just couldn’t make a free throw, and we couldn’t handle the ball in first half, that is pretty much the gist of the game,” said Boyd County coach Pete Fraley, obviously frustrated.
The third quarter was the best for Boyd County as it outscored Ironton 15-8. Fraley wasn’t sure what the difference was in that quarter or why his team reverted back.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t have a clue. We got some open looks and some run-outs. We got a lead. Then we started standing around not doing what we were supposed to do.”
Much of Ironton’s defensive philosophy was geared toward stopping Logan Fraley. Beginning in the second half, the Lady Tigers face-guarded the sophomore everywhere on the court. This difficult task fell to freshman Jordan Hannan, who did an excellent job.
“We put Jordan on Fraley and I don’t think she scored in the second half, and that is a huge credit to Jordan because Fraley is one of the best shooters in the area,” Graham said.
Fraley finished with just three points on 1-of-6 shooting.
Taylor Wheeler was also largely held in check, tallying just 10 points.
Boyd County’s defense forced Ironton into 18 first-half turnovers, but was able to force only five miscues after the break.
Lexie Barrier led Ironton in scoring with 10, while Kaylee McMackin added nine.