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Ironton seniors key win over Bulldogs

It was time for Ironton’s version of Triple H to lay the smack down.

Saturday, February 17, 2001

It was time for Ironton’s version of Triple H to lay the smack down.

On Senior Night it was the three Ironton seniors – Chris Haney, Isaac Hannon, and Josh Harmon – who combined for 40 points, 23 rebounds, nine assists, and five steals that led the Fighting Tigers to a 58-54 win Friday over the Lawrence County (Ky.) Bulldogs.

Haney had 22 points and 16 rebounds to lead the way. Hannon added 10 points and four assists, while Harmon had eight points, six rebounds, four steals and an assist as the Fighting Tigers finished the regular season 11-9.

"Harmon, Ike, and I wanted to go out winners" said Haney. "We just went out and played hard and tried to make something happen."

What happened was Ironton’s 11th win against nine losses. Coach Chris Barnes said the seniors were a key factor in the winning season.

"The seniors did a great job. This was a good way for them to go out. They’re the first group of seniors in two or three years to go out with a winning record," said Barnes.

"Now they just have to keep getting better. We started the season with four straight wins and we ended it with three straight. After a couple of blowout losses, they could have packed it in, but this group just won’t quit."

Tommy Lutz, a 6-foot-5 junior, had a big game for Ironton with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Troy Miller led three Bulldogs in double figures with 14 points. Brent Pack had 13 points and eight rebounds, Michael West scored 11, and Dontae Wright had seven rebounds and nine points.

Ironton had a 10-5 lead early before Lawrence County tied the game at 14-14 on a 10-footer by West with about a minute left in the first quarter.

West’s layup gave the Bulldogs a 16-14 lead and began a see-saw that had five lead changes the rest of the quarter before Harmon followed up a missed shot to tied the game and then Haney’s baseline jumper put the Fighting Tigers up 25-23 at the half.

Lawrence County (10-17) tried to press the third quarter and Ironton broke the defense easily in building a 39-25 lead on a layup by Lutz off a nice pass from Haney with 1:4 on the clock.

But a couple of turnovers helped the Bulldogs close the quarter with a 5-0 run and get within 39-30.

The seniors got hot to start the fourth quarter. Harmon had a steal and layup, Haney hit a 10-footer, and Hannon drained a 3-pointer as Ironton outscored the Bulldogs 7-2 to go up 46-32 with 6:36 to play.

Lawrence County changed its press and Ironton committed nine turnovers as its lead dwindled to 51-47 with 1:17 to play on a free throw by Pack.

"We panicked a little bit and threw to the wrong man. Once we got everyone settled down we were able to break the press again," said Barnes.

Lutz and Hannon then responded with two free throws each and it was 55-47 with 54 seconds to go. Haney’s foul shot with seven seconds left iced the game and Wright got a meaningless layup with one second to play.

Ironton now plays Rock Hill at 8 p.m. Monday in the Division III sectional tournament at Athens High School.

Law. Co. 14 9 8 24 – 54

Ironton 14 11 14 19 – 58

LAWRENCE COUNTY (10-17): Michael West 5-12 (1-3) 0-1 11, Brent Pack 5-11 (1-4) 2-4 13, Troy Miller 3-16 (1-11) 7-8 14, Justin Muncy 1-4 (0-0) 0-0 2, Dontae Wright 4-5 (0-0) 1-3 9, Josh Webb 1-2 (1-1) 0-0 3, Brandon Wheeler 1-1 (0-0) 0-0 2. Totals: 20-51 (4-20) 10-16 58. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 8-17=25 (Pack 8, Wright 7, Miller 5, Muncy 4). Assists: 8 (West 3). Steals: 9 (Miller 3, West 2, Muncy 2, Wheeler 2). Turnovers: 22. FG% – 39.2. FT% – 62.5. 3pt% – 20.0.

IRONTON (11-9): Josh Sands 2-4 (0-1) 0-4 4, Isaac Hannon 3-10 (2-9) 2-2 10, Chris Haney 9-16 (0-0) 4-9 22, Josh Harmon 4-16 (0-1) 0-2 8, Tommy Lutz 6-10 (0-0) 2-2 14, Andy Brown 0-1 (0-0) 0-0 0. Totals: 24-57 (2-10) 8-17 58. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 16-24=40 (Haney 16, Lutz 10, Harmon 6, Brown 6). Assists: 13 (Sands 4, Hannon 4, Haney 4, Harmon 1). Steals: 9 (Harmon 4, Lutz 2). Turnovers: 22. FG% – 42.1. FT% – 47.1. 3pt% – 20.0.

Junior Varsity: Ironton 40, Lawrence County 38. Ironton (12-8): Craig Lewis 13, Ben Murphy 9. Lawrence County: Eric Parker 17, Brandon Wheeler 11.