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Fighting Tigers rally past Red Devils

In the old "Simon & Simon" television show, Tim Reid played a police detective name Downtown Brown.

Saturday, January 20, 2001

In the old "Simon & Simon" television show, Tim Reid played a police detective name Downtown Brown.

Friday night, Andy Brown went downtown to solve the Russell defense and spark the Ironton Fighting Tigers to a thrilling 61-60 come-from-behind win.

Trailing by 17 points with 2:53 left in the third quarter, Brown launched three straight 3-pointers that got Ironton within 47-39 and the comeback was underway.

"I just got a streak going and they were falling," Brown said. "We knew we had to get a run going. We wanted to trap them and force a lot of turnovers."

Turnovers were plentiful for both teams. Ironton was guilty of 28 turnovers and Russell 24, eight the fourth quarter.

"Andy hit three big 3s to get us back in it," Ironton coach Chris Barnes said. "But even if we end up losing, how can you fault our effort? We played three straight tough games and lost, so I’m happy to come up with a win. It’s tough to keep going when you’re losing tough games."

Brown finished with 15 points, five steals, and three assists as Ironton improved to 7-5.

Tommy Lutz had 13 points and five rebounds, Josh Harmon 11 points and five rebounds, and Chris Haney had seven rebounds for Ironton. Drew Mains had four assists and three steals while Josh Sands had three steals and three assists.

Frank McCoy had 19 points to lead Russell before fouling out with 1:27 to play. Derek Withrow scored 14.

Russell went out to an 8-0 lead to start the game and led 16-8 at the end of the first quarter.

The lead got as high as 13 twice in the second quarter before a three-point play by Sands cut it to 32-22 and a foul shot by Brown made it 34-24 at the half.

A layup by McCoy and a free throw by Matt Frazier put the Red Devils on top 47-30 at the 2:53 mark of the third quarter.

That’s when Brown went downtown on three straight trips.

"Most teams would have packed it in," said Barnes. "Haney was throwing up before the game, (Isaac) Hannon was out, so we had all the excuses we could use. But our guys just wouldn’t quit. That’s a great confidence builder."

Harmon short turn-around jumper with two seconds left got Ironton within 49-41. Harmon’s baseline jumper and a layup by Derique Bacon to start the fourth quarter made it 49-46.

Two free throws by Mains left Ironton down 51-50, but 3-pointer by Withrow and a layup by Matt Johnson stretched the Russell lead to 56-50.

Down 58-54, Ironton went on an 8-0 run to take a 61-58 lead. Sands’ layup with 57 seconds left gave the Fighting Tigers their first lead of the game and Lutz made two foul shots with 32 seconds left to cap the run.

Wagoner followed up a missed shot with seven seconds left and it was 61-60. Each team was called for walking, and Russell’s final attempt failed on a short baseline jumper by John Darnell as the buzzer sounded.

Russell 16 18 15 11 – 60

Ironton 8 16 17 20 – 61

RUSSELL (11-6): Matt Johnson 2-6 (0-0) 0-0 4, John Darnell 3-7 (0-2) 2-2 8, Frank McCoy 8-14 (0-0) 3-7 19, Derek Withrow 6-10 (2-6) 0-1 14, Nick Wagoner 2-5 (0-0) 2-2 6, Justin Roberts 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0, Matt Frazier 2-3 (0-0) 1-2 5, Dustin Thacker 0-1 (0-1) -0 0, Brad Kifer 1-1 (0-0) 0-0 2, Brian Groves 1-2 (0-1) 0-0 2. Totals: 25-49 (2-10) 8-15 60. Fouls: 24. Fouled out: McCoy. Rebounds: 7-15=22 (Darnell 7, McCoy 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 1. Assists: 5 (Darnell 2). Steals: 15 (Frazier 4, Johnson 3). Turnovers: 24. FG% – 51.0. FT% – 53.3. 3pt% – 20.0.

IRONTON (7-5): Drew Mains 2-6 (0-1) 2-2 6, Josh Sands 2-8 (0-2) 2-3 6, Josh Haney 1-2 (0-0) 2-2 4, Josh Harmon 5-10 (0-0) 1-2 11, Tommy Lutz 5-9 (0-0) 3-4 13, Andy Brown 3-6 (3-5) 6-8 15, Andrew Harvey 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0, Derique Bacon 3-6 (0-0) 0-0 6. Totals: 21-47 (3-8) 16-21 61. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 11-17=28 (Haney 7, Harmon 5, Lutz 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 13 (Mains 4, Sands 3, Brown 3). Steals: 12 (Brown 5, Sands 3, Mains 3). Turnovers: 28. FG% – 44.7. FT% – 76.2. 3pt% – 37.5.

Junior Varsity: Russell 54, Ironton 35. Russell: Jared Ferguson 13, Dustin Thacker 12, Luke Frazier 11. Ironton: Chris Collins 12, Ben Murphy 10.