Ironton outscores South Point, 70-64

Published 1:13 am Sunday, March 1, 2009

JACKSON — Offensive sells tickets. Defense wins championships.

Somehow the Ironton Fighting Tigers got plenty of offense and still managed to get a championship as they beat the South Point Pointers 70-64 Saturday to win the Division III sectional championship.

“We had a great offensive effort, but our defense left a lot to be desired,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon. “We got caught up playing their style after a while and we didn’t do the things we’re supposed to do.”

Email newsletter signup

South Point (12-8) appeared to be at an offensive disadvantage for the game. Senior guard Chase Kratzenberg, the team’s leading scorer, suffered a knee injury in the semifinal win over Federal Hocking and did not play.

But usually is the case, other players step up. Jordan Fletcher had 15 points as he hit his first six shots and Kyle Winkler scored 14 points that included four 3-pointers. Ethan Prater added 16points and Cody Taylor scored 10.

The problem with having no Kratzenberg wasn’t the scoring but the leadership and ballhandling he offers. The Pointers had 19 turnovers, eight in the first quarter and 13 in the first half.

“We went through a little flurry in the first and second quarter. It wasn’t so much them scoring as much as we missed so many opportunities,” said Pointers’ coach Gary Norris.

“After we got settled down a bit we got behind their press and scored a few times.”

The difference was Ironton’s rebounding, especially on offense where they had 20 to 10 for the Pointers.

“We knew going in that their offensive rebounding was going to be a problem. They got six points off missed foul shots, and every time we cut the lead they would get two offensive rebounds and score and get it back to seven points and that’s the way it stayed,” said Norris.

Michael Lamb dominated the first quarter as he scored 17 points and Ironton took a 26-14 lead.

Lamb’s layup to start the second quarter gave Ironton its biggest lead of the game at 28-14.

“Michael was huge for us in the first half when he was in there. But then he got in foul trouble and we pretty much didn’t have him the rest of the game,” said LaFon.

Although Lamb had a big first quarter, he was in foul trouble the rest of the game and played less than two quarters. He scored 19 of his 21 points in the first half.

South Point used two layups by Jordan Fletcher to get within 30-23 at the 4:34 mark, but Ironton used a baseline jumper by Johnathon Schweickart and two foul shots by Lamb to go up 38-26.

The Pointers climbed to within seven again on a three-point play and layup by Fletcher late in the half, but again Lamb hit two foul shots and Tommy Waginger drained a trifecta with 14 seconds to go in the half and Ironton was up 43-35.

South Point got within 51-48 on a 3-pointer by Winkler with 43 seconds on the clock, but Ironton answered with putback baskets by Lukas Morris and Travis Elliott at t he buzzer to make it 55-48.

“Travis Elliott didn’t score a lot of points, but he did a lot of little things for us,” said LaFon.

Ironton stretched the lead to 60-48 with 5:12 left on a layup by Morris, but South Point got as close as 67-64 with 27 seconds to go on a layup by Fletcher.

Waginger and Schweickart combined for three foul shots to seal the win.

Waginger had 13 points and Morris added 12 points and nine rebounds as Ironton won the battle of the boards 42-29.

Despite the loss, Norris was proud of his team’s performance

“You couldn’t ask for a better effort than what we got tonight,” said Norris.

Ironton will play Piketon at 3:45 p.m. next Sunday at Ohio University in the Division III district semifinals.

South Point 14 21 13 16 = 64

Ironton 26 17 12 15 = 70

SOUTH POINT (12-9): Jordan Fletcher 7 0 1-1 15, Kyle Winkler 0 4 2-2 14, Drew Lynd 3 0 1-4 7, Ethan Prater 50 6-9 16, Cody Taylor 4 0 2-3 10, Matt Button 0 0 0-0 0, Kevin Davis 0 0 0-00, Greg Taylor 1 0 0-0 2, Tevin Mitchell 0 0 0-0 0, Tracy Phillips 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24-52 12-19 64. Fouls: 23. Fouled out: Winkler (4th 0:22). 3-point goals: 4-11. Rebounds: 10 offensive, 19 defensive = 29 (C.Taylor 8, Prater 7). Assists: 8 (Lynd 3, Fletcher 2,Winkler 2). Steals: 4 (Fletcher 2). Turnovers: 19.

IRONTON (16-6): Malcolm Morton 0 0 5-9 5, Tim Kochendoerfer 0 1 2-2 5, Lukas Morris 60 0-0 12, Erin Edens 0 0 0-0 0, Michael Lamb 5 1 8-10 21, Tommy Waginger 2 2 3-4 13, Johnathon Schweickart 1 0 4-6 6, Travis Elliott 1 0 0-0 2, Robbie Webb 1 0 0-0 2, J.P. Taylor 1 0 2-2 4. Totals: 21-53 24-34 70. Fouls: 20. Fouled out: Lamb (4th 3:44). 3-point goals: 4-13. Rebounds: 20 offensive, 22 defensive = 42 (Morris 9, Lamb 8). Assists: 7 (Kochendoerfer 2, Schweickart 2). Steals: 8 (Elliott 2, Morton 2, Taylor 2). Turnovers: 17.