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Ironton caught looking another way

When you spend time looking back or looking at the future, the present will cause you a lot of problems.

Coming off a big win over Chesapeake and looking ahead to a tough league game against Chillicothe, the Ironton Fighting Tigers forgot about Saturday’s game against the Manchester Greyhounds.

In a lackluster performance, Ironton dropped a 66-62 decision to the emotionally charged Greyhounds.

“We weren’t ready to play and it was reflected in the way we played,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon. “We were overlooking them and we told the kids not to do that. This was a dangerous team if you didn’t come ready to play.”

One player who was ready was Manchester’s 6-foot-6 senior center Blake Blevins who had 30 points and 17 rebounds. Travis Combs was the only other Greyhound in double figures with 14.

Tim Kochendoerfer had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Ironton (1-2). Travis Elliott scored 11 points and had three steals while J.P. Taylor added 10 points and three steals.

Ironton was 24 of 60 from the field, but got outrebounded 37-31.

“We didn’t play any post or help defense. Their big kid was good and we couldn’t handle him one-on-one because of his size, but we never put a body on him and we didn’t get any help. We didn’t put a body on anyone. We just stood and reached,” said LaFon.

Ironton went up 17-5 on a 3-poiner by Zac Carter with 2:08 left in the first quarter and led 20-9 at the end of the quarter.

It was all downhill after that.

Ironton shot just 4 of 13 from the field in the second quarter as Manchester cut the deficit to 30-28 at the break.

The Fighting Tigers did manage to get the lead to 42-35 on a layup by Elliott with 3:10 left in the third quarter, but Manchester came back to get within 46-45 at the end of the quarter on a basket by Dawson Little.

The lead changed hands five times in the fourth quarter. Ironton tied the game at 62-62 with 1:26 left on a layup by Taylor, but a steal by Smith and layup by Dylan Ricketts gave Manchester the lead for good at 64-62 with 35 seconds left.

Ironton missed three shots around the basket with time running out before Smith was fouled and made both shots with nine seconds left.

“I know our football players have only been out for about two weeks, but that’s no excuse for not putting a body on someone. That’s just effort,” said LaFon.

Manchester 9 19 17 21 = 66

Ironton 20 10 16 16 = 62

MANCHESTER (3-1): Blake Blevins 9 1 9-13 30, Dylan Hanson 2 0 4-5 8, Dilan Edwards 0 0 0-0 0, MacKenzie Smith 1 0 2-2 4, Travis Combs 3 2 2-4 14, Dylan Ricketts 2 0 0-0 4, Josh Marshall 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-54 17-24 66. 3-point goals: 3-13. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 11-26=37 (Blevins 17). Team rebounds: 4.Assists: 9 (Combs 3, Smith 3). Steals: 7 (Blevins 3). Turnovers: 22.

IRONTON (1-2): Malcolm Morton 0 1 0-0 3, Tommy Waginger 2 1 0-0 7, Travis Elliott 4 0 3-3 11, Tim Kochendoerfer 5 1 4-6 17, Erin Edens 2 0 0-0 4, Zac Carter 1 2 0-0 8, Josh Murphy 0 0 0-1 0, J.P. Taylor 4 0 2-2 10, Michael Turner 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 24-60 9-12 62. 3-point goals: 5-13. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 9-22=31 (Kochendoerfer 10, Taylor 4, Morton 4, Edens 4). Team rebounds: 3. Assists: 13 (Morton 7, Waginger 2). Steals: 9 (Elliott 3, Taylor 3, Morton 2). Turnovers: 17.