JACKSON – Coming off of an impressive win against Hillsboro last Monday, the Jackson Ironladies attempted to keep its foot on the gas.

The Ironladies were involved in a see-saw battle on Wednesday in a Frontier Athletic Conference contest but fell short in a 33-28 loss to McClain.

“The kids are disappointed in the locker room, which they should be,” said Jackson head coach Matt Walburn. “This team wants to win basketball games, but we didn’t get it done tonight.

“I am proud of their effort. It is a learning experience for our girls, but again, at the end of the night, you come here to win basketball games.”

Mattie Walburn paced the Ironladies with nine points, followed by TJ Carpenter, Kenzie Davis, and Sydney Hughes with five-points each. Katelyn Webb and Taylor Evans each finished with two points for Jackson.

As a team, Jackson shot 22.2 percent (10 of 45) from the floor, including 7.6 percent (1 of 13) from three-point land, and 63.6 percent (7 of 11) from the free-throw line.

McClain didn’t shoot any better, as they finished 19.1 percent (9 of 47) from the field, including 0.9 percent (1 of 11) from three-point range, and was 73.6 percent (14 of 19) from the foul line.

The Ironladies jumped out to a 4-0 lead and held a 9-3 advantage after one-quarter of play.

They held a slight advantage after being outscored 8-6 in the second quarter. Kenzie Davis scored five points in the first half to lead Jackson, while TJ Carpenter and Sydney Hughes had three-points each, and Mattie Walburn had two, as the Ironladies led 15-11 at halftime.

“We went in at the half feeling good about things,” Walburn said. “I felt like we were five for something crazy in the first half, yet we were leading 15-11. I told them in the locker room to keep shooting.

“I didn’t feel like we took bad shots. They were good looks, but we couldn’t get them to fall.”

The Ironladies expanded their lead to 17-11, with a field goal by Carpenter to begin the third quarter. The Lady Tigers, however, responded with a 6-0 run to take its first lead at 18-17, with 3:55 remaining in the third quarter.

McClain outscored Jackson 11-4 during the period and held a 22-19 advantage heading into the final quarter of play.

A 7-2 run by Jackson, including a field goal by Walburn put the Ironladies up 26-24 with 5:42 left. But a 9-2 spurt by McClain secured the 33-28 win.

The Lady Tigers, who made 14 of 19 free-throw attempts, converted 9 of 15 in the second half. Bri Weller was perfect from the foul line for McClain, making 7-for-7 on the game.

Weller led all scorers with 18 points. No other Lady Tigers player scored more than six points in the game. Payton Pryor had a game-high in rebounds with 12, to go along with six points for McClain.

The Lady Tigers edged Jackson on the boards 33-32. Walburn led the Ironladies with nine caroms, followed by Hughes with eight, and Webb had six.

Jackson also committed 12 turnovers to 11 for McClain.

“I told the girls in the locker room not to walk out of here and listen to the excuses people are going to make for us,” Walburn said, referring to the fact his team is young. “We got beat. We didn’t make shots tonight. We are 14 games into the season, and it is time to stop making excuses that we are young.

“We start four freshmen and one junior, and it is not easy playing against upper-classmen. We have got to get better and play with a little more physicality.”

The Ironladies will travel to Hillsboro for a FAC contest on Saturday, followed by another conference tilt at Chillicothe on Monday night.