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Cavs hang on to nip Ironton

IRONTON — Do you want to hear the story about the big one that got away?

Well, it was not fish story cold-shooting Ironton fell just short in its upset bid of the Chillicothe Cavaliers 53-49 Frk in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League game Friday.

Ironton couldn’t overcome its cold shooting as the Fighting Tigers fell just short in their upset bid of the Chillicothe Cavaliers 53-49 Friday in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League game.

The nets proved to be an enticing bait for the Ironton shooters who got caught like a fish out of water as they made only 16 of 54 shots for 29.6 percent.

The Fighting Tigers were only 2 of 18 from the field in the third quarter and 2 of 18 from behind the arc.

“We let this one get away. This is one we should have won,” Ironton coach Mark LaFon said. “But I can’t fault our effort. We played aggressive all night and we played great defense.

“We didn’t quit. Let’s face it, we could get a shot to drop.’’

Ironton (3-2, 1-1) got 15 points from Chad Miller who is still nursing a bad back and sustained a shoulder injury during the game.

Tyler Shoemaker added 13 points and 7 rebounds.

Miller and Andy Colegrove each had 7 rebounds as Ironton outbounded the Chillicothe 2.s

League favorite Chillicothe (2-2, 2-0) was led by Hitchens with 20 points. Chris Givens added 11 and Ray Chambers grabbed 11 rebounds, 9 in the second half.

“We did a great job on the boards, especially in the first half. I thought Colegrove and Keith did a nice job battling their big guy inside,” Lafo said.

Chillicothe took a 3-0 lead on a trey by Anthony Hitchens and never trailed.

The Cavaliers were up 17-8 on a trifecta by Curtis Baker, one of four he hit in the first half.

Ironton (3-2, 1-1) got within 17-12 at the end of the quarter on baskets by T.J. Keith and Chad Miller.

A short turnaround jumper in the lane by Miller cut the deficit to 20-16 early in the second quarter, but the Cavaliers opened up a 29-19 lead on a foul shot by Hitchens at the 2:16 mark.

Two foul shots by Miller, a 3-point play by Tyler Shoemaker and two free throws by Andy Colegrove with just two seconds left in the half enabled Ironton to close the gap to 30-27 at the break.

But the Fighting Tigers failed to convert on 4 out their first 5 possessions in the third quarter and made only 2 of 18 field goal attempts in the quarter.

Chillicothe took advantage of Ironton’s dismal play to take a 41-33 lead.

Hitchens made a free throw and then hit a 15-footer at the 5:27 mark and Chillicothe was on top 44-35.

But Marc Carter drained a trey and Zach Christensen’s layup off a nifty pass from Shoemaker narrowed the difference to 46-42 with 2:52 left.

Although Chillicothe was only 10 of 21 from the foul line including 6 of 11 in the fourth quarter, Hitchens sank two foul shots with 11 seconds to play that sealed the win.

Miller’s 3-pointer at the buzzer set the final score.

Chillicothe17131112=53

Ironton1215616=49

CHILLICOTHE (2-2, 2-0): Curtis Baker 1 4 1-2 15, Chris Givens 5 0 1-2 11, Anthony Hitchens 5 1 7-12 20, Seth Dawes 0 0 0-0 0, Ray Chambers 3 0 1-3 7, Mike Newman 0 0 0-0 0, Stuart Beverly 0 0 0-0 0, Pat McCorkle 0 0 0-0 0, Ron Smith 0 0 0-2 0, Nathan Woodworth 0 0 0-0 0, Jordan Benson 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-41

10-21

53. 3-point goals: 5-9. Fouls: 22. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 7-22=29 (Chambers 11, Givens 7, Baker ). Team rebounds: 3. Assists: 4. Steals: 3 (Hitchens 2). Turnovers: 18. Blocked shots: 3 (Chambers 3).

IRONTON (3-2, 1-1): Marc Carter 1 1 0-1 5, Alstan Carter 1 0 2-2 4, Tyler Shoemaker 4 0 5-7 13, T.J. Keith 1 0 0-0 2, Andy Colegrove 1 0 2-2 4, Chad Miller 4 1 4-5 15, Dustin Greene 1 0 2-2 4, Zach Christensen 1 0 0-0 2, Drew Kuehne 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-54

15-19

49. 3-point goals: 2-18. Fouls: 20. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 16-17=33 (Miller 7, Keith 7, Colegrove 7). Team rebounds: 4. Assists: 3 (Shoemaker 2). Steals: 5 (Miller 2, A.Carter 2). Turnovers: 14. Blocked shots: 2 (Shoemaker, Colegrove).

RESERVES: Ironton 41, Chillicothe 35. Ironton scoring leaders: Cory McKnight 12, Dustin Greene 10, Brandon Klaiber 6. Chillicothe leaders: Scott North 16, Mike Turner 11.