Ironton still needs offense

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 12, 2000

New script writer, please.

Wednesday, January 12, 2000

New script writer, please. The Ironton Fighting Tigers story this basketball season has been a rerun: good defense and a lack of scoring.

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The story line was the same Tuesday as Ironton gave an outstanding defensive effort but failed to convert its shots in a 49-36 loss to the Boyd County Lions.

Ironton (2-6) limited the traditional powerhouse Lions to a meager 28.3 shooting percentage from the field. However, Ironton was only 16-of-53 for 30.2 percent.

"That’s been the story for us all year," Ironton coach Chris Barnes said.

"I can’t say anything bad about the defense. We gave a great effort. No one is quitting. Everyone has a great attitude and they’re scratching and clawing. We’ve just got to put the ball in the basket."

Boyd County’s leading scorer Tyler Zornes played the first quarter and managed only one shot against the defense of Jason Harmon. But Zornes, playing with a protective cover over a broken nose, left the game and never returned.

The Fighting Tigers offense was hampered by the absence of Chris Frazer, the sharp-shooting sophomore guard who is out with an illness.

Also missing due to the flu was 6-foot-4 starting center Roman Fry and the injured Jimmy Peyton, the team’s second leading rebounder.

"We can’t worry about who’s not here. We have to go with who is here. The offense will come. We just have to keep working," said Barnes.

Adam Young had 16 points and Caleb Stewart 10 to lead Boyd County (7-4). Zach Fugeman came off the bench to grab 10 rebounds.

Stewart had nine rebounds and 6-8 Brandon Rose pulled down eight. The taller Lions outrebounded Ironton 43-23.

Harmon led Ironton with 19 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals. Drew Mains had five rebounds and two steals.

The Fighting Tigers were down 14-8 at the end of the first quarter, then cut the deficit to 16-15 on a 3-pointer by Harmon with 5:42 left in the first half.

Boyd County then closed the half with a 7-1 run and led 23-16.

The Lions stretched the lead to as much as 32-20 on two free throws by Young with 2:44 left in the third quarter.

It was 35-27 after a 15-footer by Harmon, but two more foul shots by Young gave the Lions a 37-27 lead after three quarters.

A layup by Rose got the lead back to 12 points with 5:42 left. Ironton then rallied on baskets by Harmon, Tommy Lutz, and Josh Harmon and it was 42-36 with 4:07 to go.

The Lions then began to hold the ball and force Ironton to foul. Boyd County converted 7-of-8 from the line over the final minute to ice the win.

The next few espisodes in the Ironton season don’t get any easier.

The Fighting Tigers play at Portsmouth Friday, Ashland next Tuesday, Russell, Ky., Friday, Jan. 21, and Wheelersburg Saturday, Jan. 29.