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Fighting Tigers topple Groveport, 74-63

GROVEPORT - Coach Roger Zornes made Brigham Waginger and Cliff Howard his attack dogs.

Zornes utilized the matchups facing Waginger and Howard as the Ironton Fighting Tigers knocked off the Division I Groveport Cruisers 74-63 Saturday night.

Waginger pumped in 27 points - 21 in the first half - to go with five assists and five steals while Howard had 14 points and six rebounds to keep Ironton unbeaten in 18 games this season.

"We attacked in areas we wanted," coach Zornes said. "We felt we had a mismatch with Brigham and Cliff. Cliff took over the last part of the third quarter. We saw he was just ready."

Dennis Gagai, who sat out most of the first half in foul trouble, scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half and Joe Zornes added 11 points including a pair of key 3-point goals.

"We did a great job on Murray. He was supposed to be their main guy," coach Zornes said. "We did a good job defensively except the second quarter. We weren't guarding the perimeter or rebounding."

Waginger had the hot hand to begin the game as he made 6 of 7 shots from the field and scored 15 points in the opening quarter.

The lead was 17-8 when Howard hit a layup and then Waginger sank a foul shot and turned a steal into a layup for a 22-8 lead.

In the second quarter, Ironton held a 13-point lead on three different occasions including 26-13 on a layup by Waginger.

But Groveport began knocking down 3-pointers as Zach Scurlock hit three shots from behind the arc and John Murray one as the Cruisers closed to within 34-31 at the half.

The second half started similar to the first half for Ironton. Gagai hit a 3-pointer and Joe Zornes nailed two shots from behind the arc including one at the 1:28 mark that put Ironton up 53-36.

But the Cruisers went on an 11-0 run over the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth quarter to get within 53-47.

Another spurt by Ironton was started by Howard with a layup and three foul shots and a layup by Waginger to make it 64-54 with 3:30 to go.

A layup by Brandon Johnson got the Cruisers within 64-58. Gagai hit a twisting layup and Scurlock made two foul shots and it was 66-60. Gagai then drained a clutch 3-pointer and Waginger hit both ends of a one-and-one for a 69-60 lead with 1:39 to play.

Scurlock was fouled on a 3-point attempt and converted all three shots, but Gagai made both ends of a one-and-one and Joe Zornes hit one of two foul shots to seal the win.

Ironton was 8 of 10 from the line in the fourth quarter and connected on 27 of 55 field goal attempts for the game.

"We hadn't been shooting well, but we came back tonight and did a good job hitting our shots and taking the ball to the basket, and we hit our foul shots in the fourth quarter when we needed them," coach Zornes said.

Scurlock led Groveport (11-6) with 18 points. Johnson had 12 points and Horsey added 10.

Ironton, ranked third in the Associated Press Division III poll, will host No. 2 ranked Chesapeake on Tuesday.

Ironton22121921-74

Groveport8231220-63

IRONTON (18-0):

Dennis Gagai 6-12 (3-7) 2-2 17, Brigham Waginger 10-19 (1-2) 6-8 27, Joe Zornes 4-9 (2-5) 1-2 11, Cliff Howard 5-7 (0-0) 4-6 14, Marcus Williams 2-6 (0-0) 1-2 5, Brent McBride 0-2 (0-0) 0-0 0, Brian Wirzfeld 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0, Patrick Kouns 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0, Brandon Walker 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0. Totals: 27-55

(6-14)

14-21

74. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 11-18=29 (Howard 6, Williams 6, Zornes 4, Waginger 6). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 11 (Waginger 5, Gagai 3). Steals: 13 (Waginger 5). Turnovers: 15.

GROVEPORT (11-6):

Jerrell Day 4-7 (0-1) 1-1 9, John Murray 3-9 (1-5) 1-2 8, Brandon Johnson 3-9 (0-2) 3-5 12, Zach Scurlock 5-13 (3-6) 5-5 18, Randolph Horsey 4-6 (1-2) 1-2 10, Edward Tyree 1-2 (0-1) 0-0 2, Edward Hayden 2-2 (0-0) 0-0 4, Terrell Wright 0-4 (0-3) 0-0 0. Totals: 23-53

(6-21)

11-15

63. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 6-15=21 (Day 9). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 4. Steals: 5 (Murray 3). Turnovers: 20.