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Battlin’ Through It

Even when the Ironton Fighting Tigers don’t play with intensity, they still play with Tim Kochendoerfer.

Despite a lackluster performance, Ironton rode the 34-point performance of Kochendoerfer to beat the Gallipolis Blue Devils 70-61 Tuesday in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League game.

“We just didn’t play well defensively. We didn’t play with our usual intensity,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.

“We were able to pull it together and make a couple of runs and win, but you can’t just turn it on and off. We have to learn to be ready to play every game.”

The win gives Ironton a 13-2 record and remains unbeaten in the league at 10-0. Gallipolis falls to 6-8 and 3-7.

Kochendoerfer also had 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Freshman Trey Fletcher came off the bench to scored 12 points — 10 in the fourth quarter — while J.P. Taylor had 10 points. Malcolm Morton handed out 11 of Ironton’s 20 assists.

John Troester scored 20 points for Gallipolis who hit a season-high 11 3-point goals. Nick Mitchell — who did not play in the first 10 games of the season — scored 16 points and Ethan Moore added 13. Troester also had 10 rebounds.

Gallipolis enjoyed one of its best shooting nights of the season, hitting 22-of-52 shots for 42 percent. The Blue Devils were 11-of-30 from behind the arc.

Gallipolis took a 10-2 lead to start the game and led 18-16 at the end of the first quarter on the strength of 4-of-8 shooting from behind the arc.

Kochendoerfer scored 14 points in the first quarter including for 3-pointers.

“When Timmy is hot, you just find a way to get him the ball,” said LaFon. “The thing that impressed me the most was in the second half Gallipolis really went after him defensively and he didn’t force his shots and found the open man.”

Kochenderfer scored 7 points in the second quarter while the Blue Devils was just 2-of-7 from the 3-point line. Troester hit a 3-pointer to make it 24-24 with 4:27 left in the half.

Kochendoerfer hit two foul shots, made a driving layup and converted a steal into layup and it was 30-24. Erin Edens and Taylor followed with layups and Ironton was up 34-24 with 52 seconds on the clock.

Mitchell scored with 36 seconds left to halt the Ironton run but Taylor drained a 3-pointer and it was 37-26 at the half.

Kochendoerfer converted a 3-point play to open up a 40-26 lead to start the second half, but Gallipolis was 4-of-7 from long range and came all the way back to take a 46-44 lead when Jordan Cornwell made a layup with 1:57 on the clock.

Ironton regained the lead at 48-46 on layups by Fletcher and Edens to end the quarter.

The game was tied 50-50 after two foul shots by Troester with 6:10 left when Ironton ran off 13 unanswered points. Fletcher scored six of those points including a perfect lob pass from Kochendoerfer with 2:40 to go and it was 63-50.

Kochendoerfer hit a 17-footer at the 1:36 mark to make it 65-55 and he converted 4-of-4 at the line over the final 34 seconds to seal the win.

Gallipolis 18 8 20 15 = 61

Ironton 16 21 11 22 = 70

GALLIPOLIS (6-8, 3-7): Jordan Cornwell 3-6 0-0 8, Ethan Moore 5-10 0-0 13, Chuck Calvert 0-4 0-2 0, Jared Golden 0-1 2-2 2, John Troester 7-11 2-3 20, Cory Eberhard 0-4 0-0 0, Nate Allison 0-0 0-0 0, Nick Mitchell 7-11 0-0 16, Austin Wilson 0-4 2-2 2, Bryce Amos 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 22-52 6-9 61. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 11-30 (Cornwell 2-5, Moore 3-6, Calvert 0-3, Troester 4-6, Eberhard 0-2, Mitchell 2-4, Wilson 0-3). Rebounds: 8 offense, 14 defense = 22 (Troester 10). Team rebounds: 2. Assists: 8 (Cornwell 3). Steals: 8 (Cornwell 3). Turnovers: 10.

IRONTON (13-2, 10-0): Malcolm Morton 1-6 1-2 3, Travis Elliott 3-4 1-2 7, Tim Kochendoerfer 10-17 9-12 34, J.P. Taylor 4-6 1-1 10, Erin Edens 2-3 0-0 4, Josh Murphy 0-0 0-0 0, Michael Turner 0-0 0-0 0, Trey Fletcher 6-6 0-1 12. Totals: 26-42 12-18 70. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 6-9 (Kochendoerfer 5-6, Taylor 1-2, Edens 0-1). Rebounds: 5 offense, 23 defense = 28 (Kochendoerfer 9, Edens 5, Elliott 4). Team rebounds: 1. Assists: 20 (Morton 11, Kochendoerfer 3). Steals: 4 (Kochendoerfer 2). Turnovers: 13.