IRONTON, Ohio — Unfortunately, it’s never over until it’s over.
A 7-0 run over the final 2:16 of regulation ultimately allowed Ironton to claim a 57-55 victory over visiting River Valley in the season-opening girls basketball game for both clubs in Lawrence County.
The Lady Raiders (0-1) led 55-50 with just over two minutes remaining, but the host Lady Tigers (1-0) rallied to knot things up at 55-all after Lexi Barrier drained a three-pointer with 42 seconds left in the fourth.
Both teams came away empty-handed on their ensuing possessions, but RVHS committed a turnover on an inbounds pass — giving Ironton the ball with five seconds remaining. Carrier provided the home heroics with a successful 15-footer just before the buzzer, allowing IHS to complete its rally and claim a two-point decision.
River Valley outrebounded the hosts by a 40-35 margin and sank 22-of-29 free throws in the setback. RVHS was 15-of-41 from the field for 37 percent, including a 3-of-11 effort (27 percent) from three-point range. The Lady Raiders also had 28 turnovers, a dozen more than Ironton (16).
Leia Moore paced River Valley with 18 points and 10 rebounds, followed by Cady Gilmore with 15 points and Shelby Brown with nine markers. Chelsea Copley added eight points, while Shalin Comer chipped in three points. Justyce Stout and Rachael Smith rounded things out for the guests with a point apiece.
Brown had eight rebounds and two assists, while Gilmore added two steals and two assists.
Barrier led IHS with 13 points, followed by Lexie Washington with 12 markers and Ariel Schweickart with 10 points. Ironton was 24-of-67 from the field for 36 percent, including a 3-of-16 performance from behind the arc for 19 percent. The Lady Tigers were also 6-of-11 at the charity stripe for 55 percent.
Washington led the hosts with eight caroms and five steals, while Schweickart and Karlee McMackin each dished out three assists.
Ironton led 16-15 after eight minutes, but an 11-8 second quarter charge gave the guests a 26-24 edge at the break. IHS outscored the Lady Raiders 15-12 in the third for a 39-38 lead headed into the finale. Ironton gained a small 18-17 edge down the stretch to wrap up the one-possession outcome.