JACKSON, Ohio — It was a tale of two halves for the Meigs girls basketball team Monday night during a 60-41 setback to Ironton in a Division III sectional semifinal matchup at Jackson High School in Jackson County.
The 15th-seeded Lady Marauders (4-19) kept pace with the second-seeded Lady Tigers (18-5) for most of the first half, which included a pair of leads late in the second canto. IHS, however, forced Meigs into 15 first half turnovers, which allowed the hosts to secure a slim one-point edge at the intermission.
The Lady Marauders — who finished the night with 29 turnovers — had seven consecutive giveaways to start the third period, and the Lady Tigers received six straight points from Ariel Schweickart inside to turn a one-point game into a three-possession lead around the 5:30 mark.
Brittany Krautter — who missed the first two-and-a-half minutes of the third with a faceguard malfunction — gave MHS its first points of the half on a jumper around the 4:50 mark, allowing the guests to pull to within 29-24. The Lady Marauders were never closer, as Ironton closed the period on a 16-5 surge to secure a 45-29 cushion headed into the finale.
Meigs started the fourth with a 9-2 charge to pull within single digits at the midway point, but Lexie Washington sparked a 13-3 run over the final 3:13 of regulation to wrap up the 19-point decision.
IHS, with the victory, will face Lucasville Valley at 4:30 p.m. Saturday in a sectional final at Jackson High School.
Ironton never trailed in the first quarter en route to a 15-12 lead, but the Lady Marauders countered with a 7-1 surge to start the second canto for their first lead of the night. Kelsey Hudson hit a trifecta at the 4:02 mark for a 19-16 edge.
The Lady Tigers tied it at 19 and then took a lead on a Washington basket, but Mercadies George nailed a three-pointer with 58 seconds remaining for Meigs’ final lead of the night at 22-21. Taylor Hannan followed with a layup with 22 seconds left, allowing IHS to take a 23-22 lead into halftime.
The Lady Marauders connected on 15-of-36 field goal attempts for a respectable 42 percent, including a 5-of-10 effort from three-point territory for 50 percent. MHS was outrebounded by a 34-30 overall margin, including a 17-6 deficit on the offensive glass.
Kelsey Hudson led Meigs with 15 points, followed by Mercadies George with nine points and Brittany Krautter with seven markers. Delilah Fish and Kirsten McGuire each contributed four points, while Tess Phelps rounded out the scoring with two markers.
MHS was 6-of-10 at the free throw line for 60 percent. Krautter hauled in a team-best six rebounds, while Hudson paced the offense with two assists.
Ironton connected on 23-of-59 shot attempts for 39 percent overall, including a 2-of-5 effort from three-point range for 40 percent. The hosts committed 15 turnovers and were also 12-of-21 at the charity stripe for 57 percent.
Lexie Barrier and Ariel Schweickart both paced IHS with 18 points apiece, followed by Lexie Washington with 10 markers and a game-high seven caroms. The Lady Tigers also had 19 steals, including six for Barrier.
It was the final basketball game for seniors Delilah Fish, Tess Phelps, Mercadies George and Kirsten McGuire in the Maroon and Gold. Meigs was winless (0-10) in Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division play this winter.