• 52°

Defense key to Ironton’s victory

When you’re playing a team that likes to play racehorse basketball, the best thing to do is pull back their reins and make it more of a harness race.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers used a strong defensive effort to slow down the Africentric Nubians and post a 60-35 win Monday in the first day of the Ironton Basketball Classic.

“We got back on defense. We played really good half-court defense. We could have been better at times, but I was really proud of our defensive effort for the entire game,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.

Tim Kochendoerfer scored 20 points and Tommy Waginger pumped in 18 to lead the Fighting Tigers (3-2).

Marquice Taylor had 10 points to lead the Nubians (1-3).

Kochendoerfer took charge in the first quarter as he scored 12 of Ironton’s 18 points. He and Waginger had back-to-back layups to end the quarter for an 18-6 lead.

“Timmy was aggressive and physical the whole game. He’s playing physical basketball. He’s diving on the floor, going strong to the boards and checking guys on defense. He’s done a really nice job on both sides,” said LaFon.

A steal by Erin Edens led to a layup by J. P. Taylor as Ironton went up 20-6 to start the second quarter. Tommy Waginger hit two foul shots and a trifecta at the 3:45 mark to open up a 27-10 lead.

Ironton went on a 13-6 run to start the third quarter to lead 44-16 and a foul shot by Michael Turner gave the Fighting Tigers their biggest lead of the game at 47-18 late in the quarter.

The game got sloppy in the fourth quarter. Africentric used a 9-1 run to trail 48-31, but a layup by Waginger — he had 11 points in the second half — put the lead at 52-30 and Ironton kept the spread at more than 20 points the rest of the way.

A 3-pointer by Ironton’s J.P. Taylor with 1:30 to play set the final score.

“We had a lot of turnovers the second half that hurt, but we kept playing defense,” said LaFon.

Ironton plays Warren at 7 p.m. Tuesday in not only the third game of the Classic but a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League game.

Africentric 6 4 12 13 = 35

Ironton 18 13 16 13 = 60

COLUMBUS AFRICENTRIC (1-3): Noah Andrews 1-3 0-0 2, Dionte Libert 0-0 0-0 0, Antonio Thomas 0-2 1-3 1, Tevin Weind 2-7 1-2 5, Kaloma Figueroa-Jackson 1-6 0-0 2, Michael Cumberland 0-1 0-0 0, Alex Lemmon 1-7 0-0 2, Jackson Ward 1-3 0-0 2, Justin McKee 3-5 0-0 7, Que ‘Vontae Prince 1-3 0-0 2, Tyriian Crump 1-5 0-0 2, Marquice Taylor 5-14 0-3 10. Totals: 16-56 2-8 35. 3-point goals: 1-10 (Andrews 0-1, Lemmon 0-2, McKee 1-2, Crump 0-1, Taylor 0-4). Fouls: 18. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 15 offense, 18 defense = 33 (Weind 8, McKee 6). Assists: 5 (Taylor 2). Steals: 6 (Thomas 2). Turnovers: 14.

IRONTON (3-2): Zac Carter 0-2 2-4 2, Tommy Waginger 7-13 2-2 18, Travis Elliott 3-5 0-3 6, Tim Kochendoerfer 7-14 6-10 20, J.P. Taylor 3-6 0-0 7, Erin Edens 1-2 0-0 2, Charles Stewart 0-0 0-0 0, Jon Norris 0-1 0-0 0, Malcolm Morton 1-3 0-0 2, Josh Murphy 1-2 0-2 2, Michael Turner 0-1 1-2 1. Totals: 23-49 11-23 60. 3-point goals: 3-13 (Carter 0-2, Taylor 1-2, Waginger 2-7, Kochendoerfer 0-2). Fouls: 15. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 10 offense, 24 defense = 34 (Taylor 7, Carter 5, Edens 5). Assists: 8 (Edens 2, Waginger 2). Steals: 8 (Morton 2). Turnovers: 15.