Defense enables Fighting Tigers to win second game

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 8, 2002

Roger Zornes said his Ironton Fighting Tigers will drive teams crazy. They might just do the same to their coach.

Ironton's defense forced 37 turnovers, but couldn't convert on offense as they made just 20 of 51 shots for 39 percent.

But the defense was enough to carry the Fighting Tigers to a 49-45 win over the Rock Hill Redmen Saturday night.

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"We'll just have to keep doing it with defense until we get our offense on track," Zornes said after Ironton ran its record to 2-0. "This is the kind of team that drives you crazy with its pressure. They just keep coming at you and putting pressure on you

"But we have to start slowing down on offense. We're missing easy shots. I don't know what the problem is."

The defense turned the tide in the fourth quarter, largely in part due to freshman Brigham Waginger.

Ironton trailed 39-35 with 5:26 after Derrick Martin sank two foul shots for Rock Hill.

Waginger then had a steal and fed Josh Sands who was fouled and hit both free throws. Waginger got another steal and hit Sands with a pass for a layup to tie the game.

Waginger then had an assist that allowed Patrick Kouns to score and put Ironton up 41-39 with 3:32 to play, and then Waginger came up with another steal only this time he did the scoring honors to make it 43-39.

Martin had two more foul shots and David Schug drained a long 3-pointer to put the Redmen up 44-43 with 2:14 to go.

But a 15-footer by Nick Collins with 1:24 to play put Ironton back on top. Donald Cade hit the first of a one-and-one to tie the game with 1:08 left, and Rock Hill got the rebound only to turn the ball over.

Waginger hit the first of a one-and-one with 17 seconds on the clock for a 46-45 lead. Another Rock Hill turnover gave the ball back to Ironton and Sands was fouled with 11 seconds to go and hit one of two shots. Collins rebounded the missed shot and threw to Sands who was fouled immediately. Sands sank both free throws this time and it was 49-45 with seven seconds to play.

Sands led Ironton with 13 points. Waginger had 12 points five assists, and nine steals. Collins finished with 12 points and seven rebounds as he started in place of the injured Derique Bacon.

Martin had 10 points and 10 rebounds coming off the bench for Rock Hill (1-1). Rickie McDonie, Gabe Ruggles, and Schug added 8 points each.

The game featured nine lead changes and the score was tied five times. Rock Hill's biggest lead was 28-25 when Schug hit a 3-pointer with 5:10 left in the third quarter. Ironton's biggest lead was four points on two occasions.

In the reserve game, Ironton won 54-31. Brent McBride had 13 points, Tyler McDaniels and Aaron Quinn 8 each, and Steve Elswick 7 for Ironton. Zach Mullins scored 10 points and Matt Hartwig 5 for Rock Hill.

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ROCK HILL (1-1):

Mitch Kerns 3-5 (0-0) 0-0 6, Donald Cade 0-2 (0-0) 1-2 1, Rickie McDonie 4-8 (0-1) 0-0 8, David Schug 3-10 (2-4) 0-0 8, Roger Joseph 0-4 (0-0) 0-0 0, Sean Mullins 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0, K. C. Christian 2-2 (0-0) 0-2 4, Derrick Martin 2-5 (0-0) 6-7 10. Totals: 17-40



45. Fouls: 20. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 13-22=35 (Martin 10, Schug 7). Assists: 5 (Schug 4). Steals: 9 (Christian 3, Schug 3, Kerns 2). Turnovers: 37.

IRONTON (2-0):

Josh Sands 4-7 (0-2) 5-8 13, Brigham Waginger 5-11 (0-0) 2-7 12, Kevin Williams 2-9 (0-2) 0-0 4, Joe Zornes 1-5 (1-3) 0-0 3, Nick Collins 6-11 (0-0) 0-4 12, Patrick Kouns 2-5 (0-0) 1-2 5, Dennis Gagai 0-2 (0-1) 0-1 0, Brent McBride 0-1 (0-0) 0-0 0. Totals: 20-51



49. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 12-9=21 (Collins 7). Assists: 8 (Waginger 5). Steals 17 (Waginger 9, Sands 4). Turnovers: 19.