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Fighting Tigers get control to get win

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Josh Glover (34) goes into the air as he tries to get off a shot over Brookhaven’s Malik Bush. Ironton won 53-48. (The Ironton Tribune / Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

 

Once the Ironton Fighting Tigers got control of the tempo, they got control of the game.

Columbus Brookhaven initiated a fast-paced flow early, but Ironton finally got the tempo under control and ran at their pace.

As a result, the Fighting Tigers remained unbeaten with a stunning 53-48 win over the Bearcats on Thursday during the first day of the fourth annual Ironton Classic.

“We got the game slowed down and caught our breath,” said Ironton coach Mak LaFon.

“It wasn’t our best game. It was a physical game. It was a tough game.”

Ironton (6-0) turned the ball over 23 times against the Bearcats’ pressure including 13 times in the second half.

The turnovers and pace of the game limited Ironton to just 25 field goal attempts but the Fighting Tigers hit 15 for 60 percent. They also made 19 of 24 free throw attempts.

“When we took shots we made them,” said LaFon.

Zac Carter did the most damage for Ironton with a game-high 29 points including 14of 16 at the line. He was 6 of 10 from the field and 3 of 4 from behind the arc.

Trey Fletcher added 13 points and 7 rebounds. Ironton had 27 rebounds — only four on the offensive end — with Dion Brown grabbing 6 and Nolan Johnson 4.

Randall Clarkson and Kevin Greenhow scored 13 each for Brookhaven (3-2). Greenhow had 9 of the Bearcats’ 28 rebounds — 20 on the offensive glass.

Brookhaven took a 13-8 lead late in the first quarter before Fletcher scored 5 points to tie the game at 13.

Carter had a pair of trifectas in the second quarter to make it 19-19. A put-back by Greenhow just before the buzzer gave the Bearcats a 23-21 lead at the break.

A 3-pointer by Blake McEwen gave Brookhaven its biggest lead at 37-29 with 3:59 left in the third quarter.

But a triple by Darius Boykin stopped the Bearcats’ run and Ironton trailed 41-34 at the end of the quarter.

A steal by Josh Glover led to a pair of shots by Johnson and a steal by Carter put him at the line where he hit a pair to cut the deficit to 44-41with 4:30 left.

Carter was 6 of 7 at the line during a 1:29 stretch including two with 1:10 left that put Ironton up 49-48. His layup 24 seconds later extended the lead to 51-48.

Brookhaven continued to miss shots and Fletcher was fouled on a rebound and hit two shots with 25 seconds left that sealed the win

“They didn’t quit. It looked at times like we were struggling and I though we might not have anything left in the tank.,” said LaFon.

Brookhaven was just 19 of 59 from the floor for 32 percent.

Ironton played Brooke Point, Va., on Friday in the second day of The Classic.

Brookhaven 13 10 18 7 = 48

Ironton 13 8 13 19 = 53

BROOKHAVEN (3-2): Randall Clarkson 5 0 3-4 13, Khalid King 2 0 1-2 5, Kevin Greenhow 6 0 1-2 13, Jalen Poland 0 0 0-0 0, Ronnie Williams 0 0 3-4 3, Blake McEwen 1 1 0-1 5, Malik Bush 1 0 0-2 2, Terry Robinson 30 1-1 7, Shawn Campbell 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-59 9-16 48. 3-point goals: 1-17. Rebounds: 20-8=28 (Greenhow 9). Team rebounds: 7. Assists: 7 (Clarkson 3, King 3). Steals: 12 (King 4, Greenhow 3). Turnovers: 13. Fouls: 23. Fouled out: None.

IRONTON (6-0): Zac Carter 3 3 14-16 29, Trey Fletcher 5 0 3-3 13, Dion Brown 2 0 0-0 4, Nolan Johnson 0 0 2-2 2, Josh Glover 1 0 0-3 2, Aaron Stephens 0 0 0-0 0, Darius Boykin 0 1 0-0 3, Tanner Dutey 0 0 0-0 0, Sean Lawless 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15-25 19-24 53. 3-point goals: 4-7. Rebounds: 4-23=27 (Fletcher 7, Brown 6, Johnson 4). Team rebounds: 2. Assists: 6 (Carter 3). Steals: 6 (Carter 4). Turnovers: 23. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: None.