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Ironton rallies to upset Huntington

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Ability is controlled by God. Effort and attitude are from within.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers looked within themselves Saturday night and got the effort and proper attitude they needed as they rallied in the final two seconds to upset the Huntington Highlanders 72-70.

After squandering a 10-point lead in the third quarter, Ironton found itself down 70-68 with 27 seconds to play.

Huntington turned the ball over with 12 seconds left and Zac Carter’s shot with time running out missed the mark. Trey Fletcher got the rebound for Ironton, was fouled and sank the tying foul shots with 2.5 seconds to play.

Huntington (12-4) attempted a long pass but the ball went out of bounds untouched on the other end of the court and Ironton had the ball under its basket.

Travis Elliott made the inbounds pass to Fletcher who scored at the buzzer to give Ironton its 11th win in 16 decisions.

“Making those hustle plays sometimes when things aren’t going well are hard to do,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon. “We’ve been showing some maturity and character the past few games. We starting to get some fight in us at the end of the game.”

Carter finished with a game-high 31 points including 11 in the fourth quarter to key the win. He was 5 of 5 from the line in the quarter with two coming at the 27 second mark that pulled Ironton with 70-68.

Fletcher had 12 points, Travis Elliott 11 and Trevor White 10.

Kwanis Hayes had 22 points for Huntington – ranked 18th in Class AAA. Toquan Hayes and Kyle Sheffield scored 11 each.

Ironton took a 50-40 lead with 1:07 left in the third quarter on a layup by Josh Murphy and it was 53-44 at the end of the quarter.

The Highlanders went on a 15-5 run to open the fourth quarter and take a 59-58 lead.

A layup by Kwanis Hayes staked Huntington to a 65-60 lead. Carter scored Ironton’s next six points to trail 70-68 and set up the thrilling finish.

Ironton had 19 turnovers including seven in the first and fourth quarters.

“Some of our turnovers were self-inflicted,” said LaFon.

There were six lead changes and five ties in the first half.

Ironton got its first lead at 16-14 on two foul shots by Elliott following a 3-pointer by Carter. Chase Baker made a foul shot just before the end of the quarter and it was 16-all.

Sheffield had a follow up dunk with 3:56 left in the half that gave Huntington a 24-20 lead.

Ironton came back on a layup by White, a foul shot by Carter and then a 3-point play by Carter with 34 seconds left in the half to tie the game at 26.

Ironton hosts Wheelersburg Tuesday.

Ironton 16 10 27 19 = 72

Huntington 15 11 18 26 = 70

IRONTON (11-5): Malcolm Morton 2 0 0-1 4, Travis Elliott 20 7-8 11, Zac Carter 6 4 7-8 31, Trevor White 5 0 0-2 10, Trey Fletcher 5 0 2-3 12, Josh Murphy 2 0 0-0 4, Josh Glover 0 0 0-0 0, Nick Culbertson 0 0 0-0 0, Nolan Johnson 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 26-47 16-22 72. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 4-9. Rebounds: 7 offense, 23 defense = 30 (White 7, Elliott 6, Fletcher 6). Team/deadball rebounds: 5. Assists: 6 (Elliott 3, Morton 2). Steals: 5 (Fletcher 2, White 2). Turnovers: 19.

HUNTINGTON (12-4): Toquan Hayes 5 0 1-4 11, Kwanis Hayes 6 1 7-10 22, Elijah King 2 1 0-0 7, Nathan Demoss 0 1 0-0 3, Chase Baker 2 0 1-2 5, Kyle Sheffield 5 0 1-2 11, Devante Marable 0 1 0-0 3, Aaron Williams 2 0 4-4 8. Totals: 26-58 14-22 70. Fouls: 20. Fouled out: T. Hayes (4th 0:02). 3-point goals: 4-16. Rebounds: 9 offense, 15 defense = 24 (T. Hayes 5, Sheffield 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 1. Assists: 11 (Williams 3, T. Hayes 3). Steals: 11 (Williams 3, Sheffield 3, T. Hayes 3). Turnovers: 11.