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Slow Starters

When the Ironton Fighting Tigers don’t play well, coach Mark LaFon will tell them.

After a sluggish first half, LaFon addressed his team’s performance at halftime. Obviously, they listened.

Ironton erupted in the second half to outscore Jackson 41-23 en route to a comfortable 70-41 win over the Ironmen Thursday in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League game.

“I was disappointed that we didn’t play hard the first half,” said LaFon. “We’ve had games when we didn’t play well, but we would play hard. We played much harder in the second half.”

A 3-pointer by Morgan Dobbins at the 5:50 mark gave Jackson a 3-2 lead, its only lead of the game.

Another 3-pointer by Dylan Newsom got Jackson within 8-6, but Tim Kochendoerfer answered with a 3-pointer. Newsom had a put-back to make it 11-10 with 2:22 on the clock, but Jackson would get no closer.

Kochendoerfer and Zac Carter made back-to-back layups to put Ironton up 15-10 at the end of the quarter.

The Fighting Tigers opened up a 24-13 lead with 2:25 left in the half on a layup by Trey Fletcher after a steal by Kochendoerfer.

Jackson was down 26-18 after a foul shot by Colt Chapman, but Kochendoerfer was fouled on a 3-point goal attempt and connected on all three free throws to give Ironton a 29-18 lead at the break.

Eric Landrum came out hot to start the second half for Jackson with two baskets and a 3-pointer to cut the deficit 31-26. But Kochendoerfer drained a trey to ignite a 23-6 run the rest of the quarter as Ironton built a 54-32 lead.

Layups by Kochendoerfer, J.P. Taylor and Michael Turner to start the fourth quarter extended Ironton’s lead to 60-34 with 5:34 to play.

LaFon then emptied his bench for the rest of the game.

Kochendoerfer led Ironton with 21 points while Elliott had 12 points and seven rebounds.

“They really went after Timmy defensively but to his credit he didn’t force anything. Travis just goes hard all the time. He’s relentless,” said LaFon.

Taylor, Fletcher and Charles Stewart all added 8 points. Malcolm Morton had eight rebounds, three assists and four steals as Ironton improved to 14-2 overall and continued to lead the SEOAL at 11-0.

Landrum led Jackson (6-8, 2-9) with 11 points while Newsom had 9 points and six rebounds.

Ironton travels to Logan Friday night.

Jackson 10 8 14 9 = 41

Ironton 15 14 25 16 = 70

JACKSON (6-9, 2-9): Kip Winchester 0 0 0-0 0, Eric Landrum 2 2 1-1 11, Morgan Dobbins 0 1 0-0 3, Dylan Newsom 3 1 0-0 9, Andrew Christman 2 0 1-2 5, Colt Chapman 0 2 2-4 8, Alex Ray 0 0 0-0 0, Andrew Brown 0 0 0-0 0, Morgan Landrum 0 0 0-0 0, Zach Miller 1 0 0-0 2, Jason Poetker 1 0 1-2 3, Luke Eisnaugle 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15-55 5-9 41. Fouls: 8. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 6-30 (Winchester 0-1, E. Landrum 2-5, Dobbins 1-7, Newsom 1-5, Chapman 2-7, Brown 0-3, Ray 0-1, M. Landrum 0-1). Rebounds: 11 offense, 13 defense = 24 (Newsom 6, Christman 5). Team rebounds: 2. Assists: 6 (Winchester 3). Steals: 5 (Dobbins 2). Turnovers: 13. Blocked shots: 3 (Christman 2).

IRONTON (14-2, 11-0): Malcolm Morton 0 0 0-0 0, Travis Elliott 50 2-2 12, Tim Kochendoerfer 6 2 3-3 21, J.P. Taylor 3 0 2-4 8, Erin Edens 1 0 0-0 2, Zac Carter 2 0 1-2 5, Josh Murphy 1 0 0-0 2, Trey Fletcher 4 0 0-0 8, Michael Turner 2 0 0-0 4, Charles Stewart 3 0 2-2 8, Jonathan Norris 0 0 0-0 0, Nick Culbertson 0 0 0-0 0, Trevor White 0 0 0-0 0, Nolan Johnson 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 29-58 10-13 70. Fouls: 6. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 2-13 (Kochendoerfer 2-5, Taylor 0-3, Carter 0-3, Morton 0-1, Johnson 0-1). Rebounds: 15 offense, 32 defense = 47 (Morton 8, Elliott 7, Fletcher 6). Team rebounds: 2. Assists: 14 (Taylor 3, Morton 3, Edens 2). Steals: 7 (Morton 4, Kochendoerfer 3). Turnovers: 13. Blocked shots: 2 (Edens, Kochendoerfer).