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Ironton ‘roles’ over Gallipolis

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Joe Bowling (10) grabs a rebound in a 54-40 win over the Gallipolis Blue Devils on Tuesday. (Photo Courtesy of Tim Gearhart of Tim’s News & Novelties of Ironton)

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Joe Bowling (10) grabs a rebound in a 54-40 win over the Gallipolis Blue Devils on Tuesday. (Photo Courtesy of Tim Gearhart of Tim’s News & Novelties of Ironton)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

Basketball players each have a role to play. Last season Tristan Cox had the role of point guard. This season he’s the shooting guard.

After Tuesday’s game, Cox might earn an Academy Award nomination for how well he played his role.

Cox scored a career-high 29 points as the Ironton Fighting Tigers got their first win by beating the Gallipolis Blue Devils 54-40.

“I was just more aggressive,” said Cox. “But this was a team effort. All our guys are picking up on their roles.”

Ironton coach Mark LaFon said team chemistry and effort were keys to the win and helping the players learn their roles.

“The thing about this bunch is that they really like each other. They’re not selfish,” said LaFon. “We didn’t play a great game, but the biggest thing is the kids battled. When things were going bad, they got it back together.”

Joe Bowling and Desmond Young had 7 rebounds each. Tanner Price had a solid all-around game with 7 points, and a pair of key steals.

Alex White scored 14 points for Gallipolis (1-4).

Ironton opened the game with a 10-0 run. Gallipolis scored 12 straight to lead 12-10 at the end of the first quarter and got a free throw by Wes Jarrell to cap a 13-0 run to begin the second quarter.

Ironton scored six straight before a putback by Drew VanSickle got Gallipolis within 16-15 with three minutes left in the half.

A 3-point play by Cox and a layup by Phillip Kratzenberg gave Ironton a 21-15 halftime lead.

The Fighting Tigers scored eight unanswered points to begin the second half and the lead was 29-15 at the 4:29 mark.

Jarrell and White hit back-to-back baskets and a layup by Miles Cornwell just before the buzzer got the Blue Devils within 31-23.

But a steal and layup by Price, two baskets by Cox, a layup by Young and another steal resulting in a 3-point play by Price opened up a 40-27 lead with 3:57 left.

Cox sank four straight foul shots including two with 54 seconds to play that gave Ironton its biggest lead at 50-35.

Gallipolis 12 3 8 17 = 40

Ironton 10 11 10 23 = 54

GALLIPOLIS (1-4): Kole Carter 0 2 0-0 6, Wes Jarrell 2 0 1-5 5, Alex White 4 2 0-0 14, Devin Henry 0 1 1-2 4, Trevor Mcneal 1 0 0-0 2, Drew VanSickle 1 0 0-0 2, Payton Halley 1 0 1-4 3, Miles Cornwell 1 0 0-0 2, Joseph Sebastian 0 0 0-2 0. Totals: 16-44 3-11 40. 3-point goals: 5-17. Rebounds: 17-O, 23-D = 40 (Jarrell 6, White 6, Carter 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 8. Assists: 3 (Jarrell 2). Steals: 2 (Jarrell 2). Turnovers: 18. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None.

IRONTON (1-2): Phillip Kratzenberg 2 0 0-0 4, Joe Bowling 3 0 0-0 6, Tristan Cox 10 0 9-11 29, Marques Davis 0 0 0-0 0, Desmond Young 3 0 0-2 6, Tanner Price 3 0 1-1 7, Jake Isaac 0 0 0-0 0, Mitchell Weisgarber 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 22-55 10-14 54. 3-point goals: 0-7. Rebounds: 14-O, 19-D = 31 (Cox 8, Bowling 7, Young 7). Team/deadball rebounds: 3. Assists: 10 (Bowling 4, Davis 2, Cox 2). Steals: 11 (Cox 3, Price 2, Bowling 2, Kratzenberg 2). Blocked shots: 2 (Cox 2). Turnovers: 8. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: Young (4th 0:40).