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URCA needs Purvis’ last-second heroics to beat Ironton

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Trey Fletcher hits two of his 29 points against Upper Room Christian Academy. Ironton lost a 95-94 heartbreaker on Friday. (The Ironton Tribune / Tony Shotsky of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

 

CHESAPEAKE — Whew!

The pace and the points were fast and furious — especially in the final minute of the game — as the Upper Room Christian Eagles escaped with a miraculous 95-94 win over the upset-minded Ironton Fighting Tigers Friday in the NIKE Tri-State Hoops Classic hosted by Huntington Prep.

Ironton erupted for its largest scoring output of the season against the Eagles (7-7) who featured two Division I signees in Rodney Purvis and Tyrek Coger.

But Purvis had 32 points — 22 in the second half — and his four-point play with less than one second to play gave the Eagles the win.

“(Purvis is) the real deal. He hit big shots for them. It looked like we were going to run away with it. Hats off to him and their team,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.

Purvis was fouled attempting a 3-pointer and hit two of the three free throws to get the Eagles within 94-91 with four seconds left.

Ironton turned the ball over on the inbounds pass and Purvis hit a 3-pointer with 0:00.9 left. He was also fouled on the attempt and made the free throw to give the Eagles a 95-94 lead.

Ironton’s final attempt failed as time ran out.

“The kids stuck to the game plan and didn’t get down when things weren’t going our way. I was proud of them. I just hate I made a bad call on the inbounds play. I didn’t want to call a timeout and let (Upper Room) get set up,” said LaFon.

Faquan Dunn had 16 points and Keysheen Hinton 10 for the Eagles.

Trey Fletcher scored 29 points for Ironton (13-4) while Zac Carter had 27 points and handed out 13 assists.

Ironton also got 13 points and 6 rebounds from Trevor White, Dion Brown had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Aaron Stephens grabbed 7 rebounds off the bench.

“Stephens had a great game. He kept them off the glass. Trevor played a good game,” said LaFon.

The Fighting Tigers led almost the entire game and built a 12-point lead in the third quarter when Carter hit a 3-pointer and White got a layup to make it 62-50.

Leading 70-63 after three quarters, Ironton was up 89-79 on a layup by Brown wit 1:30 to play.

Demetrius Troy came off the bench to hit back-to-back 3-pointers and the Eagles were down 91-87 with 43 seconds left. Fletcher made a layup for a 94-89 lead and then Purvis took over the final seconds of the game.

Upper Room 22 19 22 32 = 95

Ironton 24 19 27 24 = 94

UPPER ROOM CHRISTIAN (7-7): Rodney Purvis 4 6 6-8 32, Tyrek Coger 4 0 1-2 9, Sharwyn McGee 2 1 2-6 9, Keysheen Hinton 4 0 2-5 10, Waymond Wright 3 1 0-0 9, Faquan Dunn 1 4 2-2 16, Raphael Love 1 0 0-0 2, Demetrius Troy 0 2 0-0 6, Willie Gaskins 0 0 0-0 0, Taajae Bailey 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 34-71 13-23 95. 3-point goals: 14-28. Rebounds: 11-16=27 (Purvis 5, McGee 4, Wright 4). Assists: 19 (Wright 7, Dunn 4). Steals: 5 (Dunn 4). Turnovers: 8. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None.

IRONTON (13-4): Zac Carter 4 4 7-8 27, Josh Glove 1 0 1-1 3, Trey Fletcher 12 0 5-7 29, Nolan Johnson 2 0 0-0 4, Dion Brown 5 0 1-2 11, Trevor White 6 0 1-2 13, Tanner Dutey 1 0 0-0 2, Aaron Stephens 1 0 0-0 2, Darrius Boykin 0 1 0-0 3, Joe Bowling 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 37-61 15-20 94. 3-point goals: 5-12. Rebounds: 8-25=33 (Brown 10, Stephens 7, White 6). Assists: 21 (Carter 13). Steals: 3. Turnovers: 13. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None.