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Tigers top Tigers

MARIETTA — I dare you to cross that line.

Remember those childhood challenges? The Ironton Fighting Tigers are doing more than facing challenges, they’re answering the call.

Ironton rose to the occasion again Friday as the Fighting Tigers beat the Marietta Tigers 64-60 Friday in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League game.

“I am so proud of these kids. They just battle and battle. It doesn’t matter what they face, they’re always up to the challenge,” Ironton coach Mark LaFon said.

“We don’t have two starters again and we’re playing in a place that’s the hardest place to win in this league. I can’t say enough about these kids.”

Ironton (12-5, 7-4) overcame a 9-0 run in the fourth quarter by Marietta and a 3-point deficit to to win.

Trailing 43-42 heading into the fourth quarter, Dustin Green hit a 3-poiner and T.J. Keith scored 6 points in a two-minute span as Ironton took a 51-45 lead.

Marietta came back to lead 54-51 as Cory Kriechbaum

and Jack Skidmore ran off nine unanswered points.

But a layup by Zach Christensen, a steal by Alstan Carter who turned it into a 3-point play, and layups by Carter and Keith put Ironton up 60-56.

Chad Miller made four free throws over the final 13 seconds to seal the win.

There were nine lead changes and five ties in the first half.

Ironton’s biggest lead was 14-11 to begin the third quarter on a putback by Shannon Hensley. Marietta had a 24-20 lead on two foul shots by Skidmore with 4:20 left in the half.

A 3-pointer by Christensen gave Ironton a 12-11 lead to end the first quarter. Follow up shots by Drew Kuehne and Hensley gave Ironton a 28-26 lead with just under a minute to go in the half, but Skidmore’s 15-footer tied the game at the break.

Ironton had four players in double figures as Carter had 13 points, Green 12, and Millers and Keith 10 each.

Kriechbaum scored 20 and Skidmore 16 for Marietta (8-8, 7-3).

Ironton12161422=64

Marietta11171517=60

IRONTON (12-5, 7-4): Alstan Carter 6 0 1-2 13, Chad Miller 1 0 8-10 10, Dustin Green 2 2 2-3 12, T.J. Keith 5 0 0-0 10, Andy Colegrove 2 0 2-3 6, Zach Christensen 1 1 0-0 5, Drew Kuehne 2 0 0-0 4, Shannon Hensley 2 0 0-0 4, Bub Johnson 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21

3

13-18

64. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None.

MARIETTA (8-8, 7-3): Cory Kriechbaum 8 1 1-1 20, Michael Groom 1 0 0-0 2, Zach Skidmore 0 0 0-0 0, Justin Estes 3 0 0-2 6, Jack Skidmore 3 2 4-5 16, Tyler Preston 2 1 5-6 12, Zane Eschbaugh 0 0 0-0 0, Cole Biehl 0 0 0-0 0, Anthony Tabler 1 0 2-2 4. Totals: 18

4

12-16

60. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None.