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Fighting Tigers down Tomcats

Ironton Fighting Tigers' senior Trey Fletcher was presented a photo recognizing his 1,000th-career point. Fletcher hit the milestone during a game on Dec. 29 against Coral Reef when he scored at the 3:33 mark of the second quarter. Fletcher got the award before Saturday's win over Ashland. He is flanked by his father, Joe Fletcher Jr., and his mother, Monica Fletcher. (Tony Shotsky of Southern Ohio Sports Photos.com)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

Even Rembrandt’s mom threw away his early paintings.

Ironton’s performance may not have been a masterpiece, but it was good enough to make the winner’s museum as the Fighting Tigers beat the Ashland Tomcats 65-51 Saturday night.

Ironton had 16 turnovers, missed some easy shots and gave up 13 offensive rebounds.

“It was not pretty and it was frustrating, but we battled through us,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.

“We got the shots we wanted. The thing that frustrated me was our turnovers in transitions, and when you have a chance to finish on defense you give up offensive rebounds.”

Zac Carter led Ironton (7-2) with a game-high 26 points. Trevor White had 12 points and 7 rebounds. Darrius Boykin had a career-high 9 points off the bench. Trey Fletcher — who was honored before the game for his 1,000th-career point — had 9 points and 8 rebounds.

Dikembe Dixson — a transfer from Huntington, W.Va. — had 18 points for Ashland (9-5).

The game was tied four times and changed hands three times in the first quarter. Carter drained a trifecta at the buzzer that gave Ironton the lead for good at 19-16.

Carter buried another trey to begin the second quarter, but Logan Salow answered with his own triple for Ashland.

Ironton finally got the lead for good on a layup by White. Two foul shots by Carter, a runner by Boykin and another layup by White and it was 32-22 with 2:40 left in the half.

Fletcher — who sat out most of the first half in foul trouble — came out the second half and scored 5 points including a 3-pointer for a 39-26 lead.

Back-to-back layups by Carter opened up a 44-29 lead with 4:11 left in the third quarter.

Two layups by White and two foul shots by Carter with eight seconds left on the clock gave Ironton a 50-36 lead at the end of the quarter.

A layup by Carter and two foul shots by Fletcher opened up a 54-46 lead to begin the fourth quarter. But Ironton got careless with the ball and committed six turnovers.

Zach Hart hit a 3-pointer with 1:47 left to get Ashland within 58-47.

But a free throw by Tristan Cox and two by Carter made it 61-47 with 1:05 to go.

Ashland was forced to foul and Ironton converted 11 of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter.

Ashland 16 8 12 15 = 51

Ironton 19 15 16 15 = 65

ASHLAND (9-5): Ross Thompson 0 2 0-2 6, Zach Hart 1 2 0-0 8, Steven Friley 3 0 0-0 6, Nick Miller 2 1 2-2 9, Dikembe Dixson 8 0 2-2 18, Logan Salow 0 1 0-0 3, Tyler Stewart 0 0 0-0 0, Tyler Rose 0 0 0-0 0, Braxton Harshaw 0 0 1-2 1, Robert Wesley 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-53 5-8 51. 3-point goals: 6-18. Rebounds: 13-19=32 (Friley 6, Dixson 5). Team rebounds: 7. Assists: 3. Steals 2. Turnovers: 24. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: Friley (4th 0:47).

IRONTON (7-2): Zac Carter 6 2 8-11 26, Josh Glover 0 0 2-2 2 Trevor White 5 0 2-2 12, Trey Fletcher 2 1 2-2 9, Aaron Stephens 2 0 2-3 6, Tristan Cox 0 0 1-2 1, Joe Bowling 0 0 0-0 0, Darrius Boykin 3 1 0-0 9. Totals: 22-55 17-22 65. 3-point goals: 4-13. Rebounds: 17-21=38 (Fletcher 8, White 7, Stephens 7). Team rebounds: 5. Assists: 7 (Carter 3). Steals: 11 (Carter 5, Glover 2). Turnovers: 16. Fouls: 10. Fouled out: None.