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Offense lacking as Ironton topples Rock Hill, 39-28

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

OK, you want a Big Boy, you want a shake from Shake Shoppe, you want chicken strips from Rax, and you want a pizza bread from Giovanni’s.

How about you, coach LaFon? Sorry, I don’t think anyone has a gallon of offense.

If Ironton coach Mark LaFon could find the right drive-thru, he’d gobble up all the offense on the menu.

For the second straight game, Ironton failed to connect on its shots from the paint but this time the Fighting Tigers were able to use their strong defense to generate a 39-28 win over the Rock Hill Redmen on Tuesday in an Ohio Valley Conference game.

Ironton was 13 of 37 from the field but did convert 11 of 16 free throws.

“We have to have a better offense. We have to be better on offense. We run the offense well and we get shots. We need to make the easy shot and look for the right shots,” said LaFon.

Rock Hill coach Dave Hopper echoed LaFon’s sentiments, but he was referring to his own team who shot 10 of 33 from the floor and only 7 of 15 from the foul line.

“It’s the same thing. We have to put the ball in the basket and we didn’t do that. We were in the game,” said Hopper.

Tristan Cox had a game-high 18 points to lead Ironton (3-5, 1-1) to its first-ever OVC win.

Austin Collins had 15 points for Rock Hill (2-6, 0-3).

Layups by Marques Davis and Tanner Price to end the first quarter gave Ironton an 8-4 lead.

The scoring remained slow in the second quarter but Cox hit a trifecta and a layup for a 13-9 lead. Collins made two foul shots as the Redmen got within 13-11 at the half.

A 3-point play by Collins with 2:47 left in the third quarter gave Rock Hill a 16-14 lead, but Ironton got 4 points each by Cox and Raphael Glover as they went on an 8-0 run the end the quarter and take a 22-16 lead.

A layup by Joe Bowling to begin the fourth quarter extended the lead to 24-16. But Rock Hill battled back to within 24-21 on a putback by Brady Knipp and a 15-footer by Collins with 5:41 left.

Phillip Kratzenberg then drained a 3-pointer to pen up a 27-21 lead and a layup by Davis and two foul shots by Bowling made it 31-21 with 3:15 left.

The Redmen pulled to within 31-24 as Collins hit a 3-pointer and two free throws, but Ironton used 8 straight points by Cox — he was 6 of 6 at the line — as the lead ballooned to 39-26.

“Rock Hill did what they wanted to do and they executed. We were just able to force some turnovers and make some clutch plays,” said LaFon.

On Friday, Ironton hosts Chesapeake and Rock Hill visits Coal Grove.

Rock Hill 4 7 5 12 = 28

Ironton 8 5 9 17 = 39

ROCK HILL (2-6, 0-3): Austin Collins 3 1 6-7 15, Jake Falls 2 0 0-1 4, Brady Knipp 1 0 0-0 2, Tanner Martin 0 0 1-5 1, Trystan Matney 1 0 0-0 2, Alex Nance 0 0 0-0 0, Austin Barcus 2 0 0-2 4, Nathan Turvey 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 10-33 7-15 28. 3-point goals: 1-9. Rebounds: 11-O, 20-D = 31 (Matney 7, Collins 7, Martin 5, Barcus 4). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 2. Steals: 6 (Falls 2, Matney 2). Turnovers: 16. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: None.

IRONTON (3-5, 1-1): Joe Bowling 1 0 2-2 4, Tristan Cox 4 1 7-8 18, Marques Davis 2 0 0-0 4, Raphael Glover 2 0 0-2 4, Desmond Young 0 0 2-4 2, Phillip Kratzenberg 0 1 0-0 3, Jake Isaac 0 0 0-0 0, Tanner Price 1 0 0-0 2, Kevin Davis 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 14-37 11-16 39. 3-point goals: 2-4. Rebounds: 8-O, 16-D = 24 (Cox 4, Glover 4, Bowling 3, Davis 3, Kratzenberg 3). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 7 (Davis 3). Steals: 10 (Isaac 3, Cox 2, Davis 2). Turnovers: 10. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None.