Fighting Tigers rally late to beat Lucasville Valley
By JIM WALKER
Tribune Sports Editor
LUCASVILLE — Going inside help put the Ironton Fighting Tigers on top.
Ironton gave up its perimeter shooting to go inside down the stretch and it was a layup by Trey Fletcher that gave the Fighting Tigers the lead as they rallied to beat the Lucasville Valley Indians 53-50 on Tuesday.
Zac Carter led Ironton with 28 points but the 6-foot-6 Fletcher proved to be the key with 11 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter comeback.
“The kids found away to win. It was awful the way we played, but if you can play awful on the road in your first game and win, you take it,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.
Rob Dwyer had 14 points to pace Valley (1-2). Luke Keller had 12 points — 10 in the first half.
“Valley is going to be a good team. They have good, solid team play and they have good size,” said LaFon.
Carter got a layup off a steal to put Ironton up 2-0 but Luke Keller hit a 3-pointer to give Valley a lead they relinquished only once the rest of the half.
Ironton tied the game at 6-6 on a runner in the lane from Fletcher but the Indians went up 15-10. Carter drained a trey at the buzzer and it was 15-13.
Ironton rallied to take a 25-24 lead but Patrick Riehl made to foul shots for a 26-25 lead and the Indians went up 30-25 at the break.
Carter had 15 points in the first half to keep Ironton in the game.
A free throw by Carter cut the deficit to four, but Keller got a layup off an Ironton turnover and the Indians had their biggest lead at 32-26.
The Fighting Tigers managed just 5 points in the third quarter and Jordan West’s 3-pointer just before the buzzer extended the Indians’ lead to 41-30.
Ironton began its comeback in the fourth quarter going inside to Fletcher who made two straight shots. Josh Glover had a layup, then stole the ball and fed Carter for a layup. Fletcher made yet another layup and Ironton trailed 44-42 with four minutes left.
But Dwyer made three straight layups to open up a 50-42 lead.
Ironton didn’t quit as Carter made two foul shot and then Fletcher drained a 3-pointer and to get within 50-47.
A turnover gave the ball back to Ironton and Carter scored, and then Glover stole the ball and fed Fletcher for a layup and the Fighting Tigers were up 51-50 with 25 seconds to go.
Carter added two foul shots to make it 53-50. The Indians — who didn’t score over the final four minutes of the game — missed a pair of 3-point attempts in the closing seconds.
Ironton hosts Portsmouth on Saturday.
Ironton 13 12 5 23 = 53
Lucasville 15 15 11 9 = 50
IRONTON (1-0): Zac Carter 10 1 5 28, Dion Brown 1 0 0 2, Josh Glover 1 0 0 2, Trey Fletcher 7 1 0 17, Tanner Dutey 0 0 0 0, Nolan Johnson 1 0 0 2, Aaron Stephens 0 0 0 0. Totals: 20 2 7-13 53. Turnovers: 12.
LUCASVILLE VALLEY (1-2): Blake Yates 4 0 0 8, Rob Dwyer 6 0 2 14, Will Howard 0 0 1 1, Patrick Riehl 2 0 2 6, Jordan West 0 3 0 9, Luke Keller 3 2 0 12. Totals: 15 5 5-11 50. Turnovers: 18.