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History repeats in Ironton-SP finals

JACKSON — You’ve probably heard the old saying that history repeats itself. Well, there’s a lot of truth to that. Just check with the Ironton Fighting Tigers and South Point Pointers.

Ironton’s 57-53 win over South Point in the Division III sectional finals had a lot of similarities to a meeting between the schools back in the 1971-72 season.

That season South Point went 18-0 under coach Mike Hughes and obtained a second place ranking in the final Associated Press poll.

This year, South Point was 20-0 under coach Gary Norris and also finished ranked by the Associated Press at No. 13.

On Wednesday, Feb. 11, 1972, the teams met in the Class AA sectional tournament semifinals at Symmes Valley High School. South Point won its tournament opener and was 19-0 while Ironton entered the game 12-7.

And like their modern day counterparts, Ironton won 64-56 to hand the Pointers their first loss.

Despite the loss, Norris was proud of what the Pointers accomplished in what was supposed to be a rebuilding season.

The 20-1 record was the most wins since the 1989-90 season and also brought with it an Ohio Valley Conference championship.

“All the players, the seniors in particular, did a great job,” said Norris who won a state championship at the old Huntington (W.Va.) Vinson High School.

“The seniors were ninth graders when I came here. I really appreciate what they’ve done for us.”