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Ironton wins sleeper over Marietta, 33-31

LOGAN — Forget the sleeping pill. Just watch the replay on

tape.

Marietta, playing its fourth game in seven days, slowed the pace to a crawl to keep Ironton from running up and down the floor.

But Ironton maintained its patience and came away with a 33-31 win over the Marietta Tigers Saturday in the Southeastern Athletic League “Day of Champions” third place game.

“This was one of the ugliest basketball games Ohio has ever seen. The kids played good enough defense to stay in it. When we finally got a chance, we tried to attack the only thing that was open,” Ironton coach Mark LaFon said.

Ironton (15-5) was led by Marc Carter with 13 points including the game-winning shot with two seconds left. Carter has missed the past four games with an ankle injury.

“It was a real boost to get Marc back. We probably wouldn’t have won this game without him,” LaFon said.

The winning basket was set up by Chad Miller with two key plays. Miller got a steal and made a layup to tie the game with 1:05 to play. He then took a charging foul that gave Ironton possession of the ball with 54 seconds left.

Ironton held for the final shot and Carter made the 19-footer. Cory Kriechbaum attempted a 3-pointer at the buzzer that failed to connect.

“We just found a way to grind it out. We expected them to play a zone. We just couldn’t hit shots,” LaFon said. “Marietta had a good game plan. Every game isn’t going to be pretty, but the only thing you want is to win and we did that.”

Marietta (9-11) jumped out to an 11-0 lead before Ironton closed to within 13-11 at the end of the quarter.

The scoring virtually stopped in the second quarter.

Carter’s layup tied the game with 3:13 left in the half and T.J. Keith made a layup at the 2:23 mark to put Ironton up for the first time. Tyler Preston’s layup with 1:45 left in the half enabled Marietta to tie the score at 15-15 at the break.

Drew Kuehne had a big 3-pointer and foul shot to give Ironton a 21-19 led in the third quarter only to have Preston follow up his own missed shot and tie the score again.

Justin Estes made a free throw with 2:48 to play that gave Marietta a 31-27 lead.

Andy Colegrove’s layup off a pass from Miller cut the deficit to 31-29 and then Miller and Carter took over.

Preston led all scorers with 14 points.