• 59°

Bad 2nd quarter too much for Ironton to overcome

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Tristan Cox (22) goes in for two points between two Lucasville Valley defenders. Ironton’s comeback fell short in a 47-44 loss on Tuesday. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Tristan Cox (22) goes in for two points between two Lucasville Valley defenders. Ironton’s comeback fell short in a 47-44 loss on Tuesday. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

It didn’t take a “think tank” to determine the turning point of Ironton’s season opener on Tuesday.

“It was no secret. It was the second quarter,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon. “You could tell right from the start of the quarter. We got behind and could never catch up.”

The second quarter meltdown saw a first quarter Ironton lead dissolve as the Lucasville Valley Indians rallied to take the lead and then hold on for a 47-44 win over the Fighting Tigers.

A layup by Phillip Kratzenberg and two free throws by Joe Bowling with six seconds to go in the first quarter gave Ironton a 10-7 lead.

Ryan Brown’s free throw with 4:46 left in the half put the Indians up for good at 13-12. It triggered a 13-0 run by the Indians as they went up 25-12 with 1:41 to go in the half.

Tristan Cox scored to end the run, and layups by Marques Davis and Cox got Ironton within 27-19 at the break.

Lucasville scored seven unanswered points to start the second half and built its biggest lead at 40-23 on a 15-footer by Blake Brewer at the 3:47 mark of the third quarter.

But three baskets by Raphael Glover and a trey by Cox cut the deficit to 44-34 to end the quarter.

Ironton continued its comeback in the fourth quarter, but five turnovers proved crucial.

LaFon noted a stretch when Ironton made a basket, forced a turnover and then turned the ball back to the Indians.

“Three times we did that. It’s hard to win a ball game when you’re doing that,” said LaFon.

Two foul shots by Cox got Ironton within 47-44 with 10 seconds left. Bryan Rolfe missed the front end of a one-and-one with seven seconds to go but Kratzenberg’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer rimmed in and out.

Cox led Ironton with 13 points and 9 rebounds. Bowling had 8 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Kratzenberg also had 3 assists and Jake Isaac came up with 3 steals.

Brown had 15 points and Rolfe 10 to lead Lucasville.

Ironton pays at Huntington on Friday. The Highlanders are the West Virginia Class AAA preseason No. 1 ranked team.

Lucasville 7 20 17 3 = 47

Ironton 10 9 15 10 = 44

LUCASVILLE VALLEY (1-0): Bryce Romanello 1 0 0-0 2, Bryan Rolfe 4 0 2-5 10, Blake Howard 1 2 0-1 8, Ryan Brown 5 1 2-5 15, Drew Wolford 2 0 2-2 6, Blake Brewer 1 0 0-0 2, Kenny Williams 0 0 2-2 2. Totals: 18-43 8-15 47. 3-point goals: 3-13. Rebounds: 11-O, 15-D = 26 (Romanello 11, Rolfe 5). Team rebounds: 2. Assists: 3 (Romanello 2). Steals: 7 (Rolfe 3, Wolford 2). Turnovers: 16. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None.

IRONTON (0-1): Phillip Kratzenberg 3 0 0-0 6, Joe Bowling 2 0 4-4 8, Tristan Cox 4 1 2-2 13, Marques Davis 3 0 1-2 7, Desmond Young 1 0 -0 2, Tanner Price 0 0 0-2 0, Jake Isaac 0 0 2-2 2, Raphael Glover 3 0 0-0 6, Mitchell Weisgarber 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-38 9-12 44. 3-point goals: 1-4. Rebounds: 8-O, 19-D = 27 (Cox 9, Bowling 4). Team rebounds: 3. Assists: 9 (Kratzenberg 3, Bowling 3). Steals: 9 (Isaac 3, Bowling 2). Turnovers: 22. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: Bowling (4th 1:12).