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Game pace plagues Ironton

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

WELLSTON — For the John Glenn Little Muskies, it was like ordering a meal at Burger King. They had it their way.

Controlling the tempo for most of the game, the Muskies were able to hold off the Ironton Fighting Tigers 52-45 Saturday at the Wellston National Hoops Classic.

“The first half was played where they wanted it. It was the pace they wanted. It was definitely in their game plan and it stayed there,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.

Ironton also played much of the first half without leading scorer Zac Carter who didn’t start after missing the morning shoot-around. Carter scored 21 points — all in the second half.

Trey Fletcher had 11 points and five rebounds. Travis Elliott finished with eight points and Nick Culbertson had six rebounds.

Zack Atkins scored 18 points and Jake Heagen 15 to lead John Glenn (6-2). Laine Crawford added 11.

Ironton (5-3) took a 4-0 lead to start the game before John Glenn came back to lead 6-4 at the end of the quarter.

The game was tied twice in the second quarter but Heagen hit back-to-back jumpers as the Muskies took the lead for good at 12-8.

A 19-footer by Malcolm Morton cut the deficit to 12-10, but the Muskies went on a 6-0 run to finish the half for an 18-10 lead.

“It was a physical game and in the first half we didn’t step up. They’re a good solid team. We didn’t do a good job as a team,” said LaFon.

Carter hit a trifecta with 5:23 left in the third quarter to cut the margin to 24-20.

Crawford’s 3-point pushed the Muskies’ lead to 33-23 only to have Carter hit a triple just before the end of the quarter and it was 37-30.

John Glenn got a 3-point play from Heagen at the 7:38 mark of the fourth quarter and led 40-30. Carter answered with six straight points to get Ironton within 40-36 at the 3:48 mark.

Cody Lake scored to end Ironton’s scoring run and the Muskies were 4 of 7 from the line over the final minute to seal the win.

“There are times late in the game where we have to learn to make the right decisions or to make plays and we’re not doing that,” said LaFon.

“We played hard. There were times when we just had some bad breaks where we’d knock a ball away and it would land right back in their hands. You can call it bad luck, but you have to make those plays.”

Ironton plays Dayton Stivers at 6:15 Sunday in the final day of the National Hoops Classic

Ironton 4 6 20 15 = 45

John Glenn 6 12 19 15 = 52

IRONTON (5-3): Malcolm Morton 1 1 0-0 5, Travis Elliott 4 0 0-0 8, Josh Murphy 0 0 0-0 0, Trey Fletcher 3 0 5-6 11, Nolan Johnson 0 0 0-0 0, Nick Culbertson 0 0 0-0 0, Josh Glover 0 0 0-0 0, Zac Carter 6 2 3-6 21. Totals: 17-46 8-12 45. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 3-9. Rebounds: 10 offense, 20 defense = 30 (Culbertson 6, Fletcher 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 6. Assists: 9 (Morton 4). Steals: 4. Turnovers: 16.

JOHN GLENN (6-2): Heath Dodson 0 0 2-4 2, Jake Heagen 5 0 5-5 14, Nick Fraunfelter 0 0 0-1 0 , Laine Crawford 3 1 2-2 11, Zack Atkins 9 0 0-0 18, Brandon Dolick 0 0 0-0 0, Josh Thomas 0 0 0-0 0, Cody Lake 3 0 0-0 6. Totals: 21-44 9-12 52. Fouls: 8. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 1-6. Rebounds: 7 offense, 18 defense = 25 (Heagen 11, Atkins 6). Team/deadball rebounds: 5. Assists: 15 (Heagen 8, Dodson 4). Steals: 6 (Crawford 3). Turnovers: 14.