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Lewis triggers Ironton win over Bulldogs, 69-62

LOUISA, Ky.

Sunday, February 17, 2002

LOUISA, Ky. – Craig Lewis found himself in the starting lineup Friday. He also found the Lawrence County Bulldogs to his liking.

Lewis got the starting nod when Josh Sands missed practice due to an illness. All Lewis did was score a career-high 21 points – he was 4 of 4 from 3-point range – to go along with six assists and four rebounds as the Ironton Fighting Tigers beat the Bulldogs 69-62.

As a team, Ironton dished out 16 assists.

"Craig Lewis carried us the first half," Ironton coach Chris Barnes said. "He did a great job of shooting the ball and finding the open man.

"I thought we played well as a team. We passed the ball better than we have all year and we shot the ball better. A lot of the reason we shot well was because we shot better percentage shots."

Ironton, 10-10, had its best shooting night of the season at 27 of 50 from the field for 54 percent. The Fighting Tigers also made 7 of 9 from 3-point range and 8 of 12 at the line.

Derique Bacon scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Tommy Lutz had 14 points and six rebounds, and Sands came off the bench to score 10 points and also handed out a season-high five assists.

Steve Driver had a game-high 28 points including 6 of 10 from behind the arc to pace the Bulldogs (5-17). Brandon Wheeler scored 16 points while Dontae Wright had nine rebounds.

"Lawrence County is a very athletic team and they’re tough at home," said Barnes. "Ashland barely beat them here and last week they beat Lewis County by 22. Ashland killed us and we only beat Lewis County by two points at home in overtime."

The Bulldogs scored six straight points to end the first quarter and led 13-11.

Lewis made a driving layup and then hit a 3-pointer at the 2:25 mark of the second quarter to put Ironton up 24-22.

Another 3-pointer by Lewis put the Ironton lead at 29-26 before Driver’s layup just before the buzzer made it 29-28.

The lead changed hands 10 times the third quarter, the final time when Aaron Quinn hit a 3-pointer with five seconds on the clock that gave the Fighting Tigers a 48-47 lead.

A three-point play by Wheeler tied the game at 57-57 with 3:51 to play. Sands knocked down a 3-pointer, Quinn hit a baseline jumper, and Lutz hit a layup as Ironton went ahead for good at 64-57 with 1:04 left.

Brent Pack made a 3-pointer for the Bulldogs, but Sands countered with a layup, Quinn sank one of two from the line, and Bacon’s layup with nine seconds to go sealed the win.

The Fighting Tigers play at 8 p.m. Tuesday against Coal Grove in the Division III sectional tournament at South Webster.

In the reserve game, A. J. McKnight hit a 55-footer at the buzzer to tie the game at 57-57 and Ironton won in overtime 67-60. Matt White and Kevin Williams combined for 50 points as White had a game-high 27 while Williams scored 23.

Ironton 11 18 19 21 – 69

Law. Co. 13 15 19 15 – 62

IRONTON (10-10): Aaron Quinn 2-3 (1-1) 3-5 8, Drew Mains 1-2 (0-0) 0-0 2, Craig Lewis 8-14 (4-4) 1-1 21, Derique Bacon 6-13 (0-0) 2-2 14, Tommy Lutz 6-8 (0-0) 2-4 14, Andy Brown 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0, Andrew Harvey 0-2 (0-0) 0-0 0, Josh Sands 4-8 (2-3) 0-0 10. Totals: 27-50 (7-9) 8-12 69. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: Mains. Rebounds: 9-23=32 (Bacon 10, Lutz 6). Assists: 16 (Lewis 6, Sands 5). Steals: 4 (Lutz 3). Team/deadball rebounds: 1. Turnovers: 15. FG% – 54.0. FT% – 66.7. 3pt% – 77.8.

LAWRENCE COUNTY (5-18): Steve Driver 10-18 (6-10) 2-2 28, Michael West 3-7 (1-5) 0-0 7, Josh Webb 0-3 (0-2) 0-0 0, Brent Pack 3-7 (1-3) 2-4 9, Dontae Wright 1-7 (0-1) 0-2 2, Brandon Wheeler 5-18 (0-0) 6-7 16, Brian Short 1-1 (1-1) 0-0 3, Steve Blevins 0-1 (0-0) 0-0 0, James Storts 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0. Totals: 23-62 (9-22) 10-15 62. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 12-14=26 (Wright 9, Wheeler 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 4 (4 with 1 each). Steals: 7 (Wright 2, Webb 2). Turnovers: 9. FG% – 37.1. FT% – 66.7. 3pt% – 40.9.