Braves pull away late to top Fighting Tigers

Published 12:06 am Sunday, December 29, 2013

Jim Walker


ASHLAND, Ky. — Getting cold in the winter is understandable. Getting cold in the fourth quarter was chilling.

Ironton was within six points heading into the fourth quarter, then managed just seven points and lost 64-45 to the Grant County Braves in the opening round of the Ashland Invitational Tournament Friday.

“The kids played very hard. Their effort was tremendous for 27 minutes of the game,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.

“The turnover thing kills you. Mix that with the fouls and it really hurts you.”

The foul situation was crippling. Despite playing a zone, Ironton was called for 22 fouls and the Braves — who drove to the basket like a bull in a china shopt — a mere seven. The Fighting Tigers were 6-of-10 at the line and Grant County 24-of-26.

Tristan Cox scored 19 points to lead Ironton (0-7). Nate Garred added 8 points.

Seth Adkins scored 19 points with 15 coming in the second half. Jordan Saylor had 12 of his 15 points in the second half for the Braves (4-4).

Grant County led most of the first quarter until Tristan Cox drained a trifecta and Hunter Klaiber made a foul shot at the 1:45 mark and it was 8-8.

Jordan Rose’s tip-in put the Braves back up 10-8 moments later as they led at the end of the quarter.

A 3-pointer by Richard Crockrel and a foul shot by Marques Davis had Ironton within 13-12 and Ironton stayed close the rest of the half.

Jordan Saylor knocked down a 3-pointer with seconds left for the Braves, but Davis threw up a shot from beyond halfcourt that found the net and Ironton trailed 25-21 at the half.

Nate Garred made a layup to begin the second half for Ironton, but the Braves went on an 8-2 run and it was 33-25.

“We started out the third quarter giving them some easy baskets. We just have to get better at rotating around,” said LaFon.

Cox had a steal and layup to get Ironton within 33-27 and a layup by Desmond Young cut the deficit to 34-29.

Grant County stretched the lead to 40-31, but Cox hit a triple from the corner, Davis had a putback and Young made a laypu and Ironton sliced the spread to 40-38.

Two layups by Jordan Saylor and the Braves led 44-38 at the end of the quarter.

Ironton managed only a basket by Cox for five and a half minutes in the fourth quarter as Grant County built a 55-40 lead.

Ironton 8 13 17 7 = 45

Grant County 10 15 19 20 = 64

IRONTON (0-7): Nate Garred 8, Tristan Cox 19, Richard Crockrel 3, Desmond Young 6, Lucas Campbell 2, Hunter Klaiber 1, Marques Davis 6, Isaac Sherman 0, Charles Scott 0. Totals: x 5 6-10 45. Fouls: 22. Fouled out: Sherman, Campbell. Turnovers: 24.

GRANT COUNTY (4-4): Aaron Hicks 3, Seth Adkins 19, Joey Saylor 3, Austin Johnson 5, Austin Schneider 4, Cody Kellam 2, Doug Bennett 6, Cameron Burk 2, Jordan Saylor 15, Colin Albers 0, Luke Onan 0. Totals: 14 4 24-26 64. Fouls: 7. Fouled out: None.