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Team Work

GALLIPOLIS — The better Ironton plays as a team, the better the Fighting Tigers play.

Tuesday night the Fighting Tigers played really well as a team.

Ironton’s team effort was too much for the Gallipolis Blue Devils as the Fighting Tigers rolled to a 58-31 Southeastern Ohio Athletic League win.

“We played hard again, but I was really happy with how we shared the ball,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.

“We made the extra pass to get the better shot, and we help each other out on defense. We want our players to get out of the mode of being a role player. We don’t want to be predictable. We want everyone contributing in every way.”

Ironton had plenty of players contributing in many ways.

Tommy Waginger scored 18 points to lead three players in double figures. Tim Kochendoerfer scored 16 and J.P. Taylor added 12 points and 12 rebounds. Travis Elliott grabbed 7 rebounds as Ironton held a commanding 44-20 advantage on the boards.

Corey Eberhard came off the bench to scored 10 points and Ethan Moore added 9 for Gallipolis (4-4, 1-3) who shot just 13 of 44 from the field for 29.5 percent.

Ironton got off to a fast start for the second straight game by scoring the first 11 points of the game including 6 by Kochendoerfer.

Gallipolis missed its first 11 shots and didn’t score until Eberhard made a layup with 45 seconds left in the first quarter. Waginger hit two foul shots with two seconds on the clock and Ironton led 13-2.

But for the second straight game, Ironton had problems in the second quarter — this time due to Kochendoerfer and Waginger each picking up their second foul.

A 3-pointer by Eberhard cut the deficit to 15-7 and a layup by Ethan Moore got the Blue Devils within 16-9.

A 17-footer by Zac Carter, a layup by Elliott and a trey by Taylor opened up a 23-9 lead for Ironton with 2:22 left in the half.

Gallipolis got within 23-15 on a short jumper by Chuck Calvert but Elliott followed up his own missed shot with one second on the clock and Ironton led 25-15 at the break.

“I don’t know if it was being on the road, but we looked like we were playing tired in the first half. We gave up a lot of easy stuff in the second quarter,” said LaFon.

Kochendoerfer and Waginger returned in the third quarter and Gallipolis felt their presence.

Kochendoerfer hit a pair of trifectas as he scored Ironton’s first 10 points of the half to push the lead to 35-17. Waginger scored 10 points of his own and Taylor made a 3-pointer and a layup to extend the lead to 50-17 with 1:54 on the clock.

Eberhard hit a 3-pointer but Gallipolis found itself behind 50-20 as the quarter ended.

“We talked about playing solid. (The third quarter) was our best quarter by everyone. We’re getting a little better in each game,” said LaFon.

A trey by Waginger to start the fourth quarter gave Ironton its biggest lead of the game at 53-20. LaFon emptied his bench with more than five minutes to play.

Coupled with Chillicothe’s 45-42 win over Portsmouth, Ironton (7-2, 4-0) took over first place in the SEOAL. The Fighting Tigers host Logan on Friday.

Ironton 13 12 25 8 = 58

Gallipolis 2 13 5 11 = 31

IRONTON (7-2, 4-0): Malcolm Morton 0 0 1-2 1, Tommy Waginger 3 2 6-7 18, Tim Kochendoerfer 4 2 2-2 16, Travis Elliott 2 0 1-2 5, J.P. Taylor 3 2 0-0 12, Erin Edens 1 0 1-1 3, Zac Carter 1 0 0-0 2, Josh Murphy 0 0 0-1 0, Michael Turner 0 0 0-0 0, Jonathan Norris 0 0 0-2 0, Charles Stewart 0 0 1-2 1. Totals: 20-51 12-19 58. Fouls: 9. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 6-20. Rebounds: 21 offense, 22 defense = 44 (Taylor 12, Elliott 7). Team rebounds: 3. Assists: 12 (Carter 4, Elliott 2, Waginger 2, Morton 2). Steals: 9 (Carter 3, Taylor 2). Turnovers: 19.

GALLIPOLIS (4-4, 1-3): Ethan Moore 3 1 0-0 9, Chuck Calvert 1 0 0-0 2, Jared Golden 0 0 0-0 0, Jordan Cornwell 0 0 0-0 0, John Troester 2 0 0-0 4, Austin Wilson 0 0 0-0 0, Corey Eberhard 2 2 0-0 10, Bryce Amon 1 0 0-0 2, Tyler Eastman 1 0 2-2 4, Cody Billings 0 0 0-0 0, Nathaniel Gordon 0 0 0-0 0, Nate Allison 0 0 0-0 0, Joe Jenkins 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13-44 2-2 31. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 3-17. Rebounds: 8 offense, 12 defense = 20 (Troester 5, Golden 3). Team rebounds: 4. Assists: 3. Steals: 8 (Moore 2, Eberhard 2). Turnovers: 17.