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Carter scores 29 as Ironton beats Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH — Ironton Fighting Tigers coach Mark LaFon wasn’t sure what he would see, but when he saw it, he liked it.

Ironton finally got to open its basketball season Tuesday against Southeastern Ohio Athletic League opponent Portsmouth.

Although the Trojans were playing their third game, the Fighting Tigers used some long-range and foul shooting to take a 69-58 win.

“You never know what you’re going to see in the first game. I have to admit I was worried because we’re so young an inexperienced,” said LaFon.

What LaFon and others got to see was senior point guard Marc Carter scored a career-high 29 points. They also saw Ironton make 8-of-26 3-point goal attempts and convert 19-of-21 foul shots.

Not only that, but center Nick Lewis grabbed nine rebounds before leaving the game with an illness.

“We did some things I was glad to see. Nick (Lewis) did nice job on the boards and I thought we played pretty physical and aggressive,” said LaFon.

“(Carter) was a leader out there. He kept it calm enough that we could win the game. He played hard and shot well. I never would have expected him to have that kind of game this early.”

Jon Schweickert scored 14 points for Ironton including 10-of-10 at the foul line. He was 6-of-6 in the fourth quarter when Portsmouth was forced to foul. Dustin Green added 11 points.

Ironton went up 6-2 early but Portsmouth came back to take a 14-13 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Ironton regained he lead at 23-22 on two foul shots by Green with 1:48 left in the half.

Layups by Lukas Morris and Green put the Fighting Tigers up 27-23 at the break.

Three straight baskets by Forrest Johnson gave Portsmouth a 33-29 lead with 4:34 to play in the third quarter, but Carter drained back-to-back trifectas and it was 35-33.

Carter’s trey at the 3:05 mark put Ironton up for good at 40-37 and layups by Green and Carter to end the quarter pushed the lead to 48-39.

The Fighting Tigers led by as many as 12 points in the fourth quarter and then converted 10-of-12 free throws to seal the victory.

Portsmouth (1-3) was led by Cory Reeves with 16 points and Andrew Bendolph with 14.

Ironton13142121=69

Portsmouth1491619=58

IRONTON (1-0): Marc Carter 3 6 5-6 29, Bub Johnson 0 0 0-0 0, Zach Christensen 2 1 1-2 8, Jon Schweickart 2 0 10-10 14, Nick Lewis 1 0 1-1 3, Geoffrey White 1 0 0-0 2, Rob Webb 0 0 0-0 0, Lukas Morris 1 0 0-0 2, Dustin Green 3 1 2-2 11, Brandon Klaiber 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-63 19-21 69. 3-point goals: 8-26. Fouls: 13. Rebounds: 14-16=30 (Lewis 9, Carter 6). Team rebounds: 5. Assists: 3 (Carter 2). Steals: 11 (Carter 6). Turnovers: 15.

PORTSMOUTH (1-3): Forrest Johnson 4 0 0-0 8, Cory Reeves 7 0 2-2 16, Jacob Stevens 1 1 0-0 5, Anthony Williams 5 0 5-8 15, Nate Cadogan 0 0 0-0 0, Stuart Doll 0 0 0-0 0, Storm Bratchett 0 0 0-0 0, Andrew Bendolph 3 2 2-4 14, Zack Link 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-56 9-14 58. 3-point goals: 3-15. Fouls: 21. Fouled out: Johnson (4th 0:57). Rebounds: 10-25=35 (Williams 9, Cadogan 8). Team rebounds: 3. Assists: 3 (Reeves 2). Steals: 5 (Reeves 3). Turnovers: 22.