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Ironton defense stops Pointers

 Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Tanner Price (right) applies defensive pressure as South Point Pointers’ guard Elijah Adams (30) brings the ball up the court. Ironton beat the Pointers 40-30 on Tuesday in an Ohio Valley Conference game. (Photo Courtesy of Tim Gearhart of Tim’s News & Novelties of Ironton)


Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Tanner Price (right) applies defensive pressure as South Point Pointers’ guard Elijah Adams (30) brings the ball up the court. Ironton beat the Pointers 40-30 on Tuesday in an Ohio Valley Conference game. (Photo Courtesy of Tim Gearhart of Tim’s News & Novelties of Ironton)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

SOUTH POINT — The Ironton Fighting Tigers might want to rummage through the “Lost and Found” department.

Ironton found its defensive game a long time ago. The Fighting Tigers have also found a way to rebound despite their lack of size. But they are still looking for that lost offense.

As the short-range shots continue to miss their mark, Ironton relied on their defense and rebounding to beat the South Point Pointers 40-30 on Tuesday in an Ohio Valley Conference game.

Ironton (4-6, 2-2) was just 12 of 40 from the field but limited South Point to 11 of 28 shooting and the Pointers made only three fields goals in the second half.

“We’re going to have to play defense until we find our offense. The defensive side and the rebounding we’re getting the job done. We just have to do a little better job on the scoring end,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.

Tristan Cox had 17 points and 5 rebounds to lead Ironton including four clutch free throws to seal the win. Phillip Kratzenberg added 9 points and had a pair of assists while Desmond Young had 8 rebounds.

Joe Bowling and Marques Davis also had 5 rebounds as Ironton held a 31-17 rebound advantage including 17 offensive boards.

Brady Rickard had 12 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocked shots for the Pointers (2-7, 1-3) who had their own offensive woes as they managed just 28 field goal attempts for the game and were guilty of 20 turnovers.

“We were right there with a chance to win the game,” said Pointers’ coach Travis Wise. “We just had too many turnovers at the wrong time and we got hurt on the boards.”

The game was tied three times in the first quarter before Kratzenberg drained a trifecta and Young made a layup for a 13-10 lead.

Two free throws by Tanner Price gave Ironton an 18-10 lead with 6:14 left in the half, but the Pointers rallied on a triple by Cody Runyon and a layup by Rickard to take a 21-19 lead.

Cox hit a 15-footer and had a putback as Ironton led 23-21 at the break.

“The Rickard kid killed us. He did a really nice job. He was the difference in their offense,” said LaFon.

Neither team could score in the third quarter. Ironton was one of 13 from the field and South Point just 2 of 10 and the Fighting Tigers led 27-26.

Young made a free throw and Bowling hit a layup as Ironton took a 30-26 lead to start the fourth quarter.

Stephen Wagoner made two free throws for the Pointers but then Kratzenberg hit a layup and Young scored off a pass from Davis.

Rickard had a layup to cut the deficit to 35-30, but Davis hit a free throw and Cox went 4 for 4 over the final 53 seconds.

“The game was about the game plan and we struggled for three quarters and then the fourth quarter we did it all,” said LaFon.

On Friday, Ironton hosts Coal Grove and South Point visits Rock Hill. Ironton hosts rival Ashland on Saturday.

Ironton 13 10 4 13 = 40

South Point 10 11 5 4 = 30

IRONTON (4-6, 2-2): Phillip Kratzenberg 1 2 1-2 9, Joe Bowling 2 0 0-0 4, Tristan Cox 3 1 8-10 17, Marques Davis 0 0 1-2 1, Desmond Young 3 0 1-2 7, Jake Isaac 0 0 0-0 0, Tanner Price 0 0 2-3 2, Raphael Glover 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 12-40 13-19 40. 3-point goals: 3-5. Rebounds: 13-O, 14-D = 31 (Young 8, Cox 5, Bowling 5, Davis 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 4 (Kratzenberg 2). Steals: 6 (Cox 3). Turnovers: 13. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: Young (4th 1:35).

SOUTH POINT (2-7, 1-3): Ryan Gibson 1 0 0-0 2, Brady Rickard 5 0 2-2 12, Elijah Adams 0 0 2-2 2, Alex Whitt 1 1 0-0 5, Stephen Wagoner 1 0 2-2 4, Chris Woodard 1 0 0-0 2, Cody Runyon 0 1 0-0 3, Drew Adams 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 11-28 6-6 30. 3-point goals: 2-10. Rebounds: 3-O, 14-D = 17 (Rickard 8). Team/defensive rebounds: 5. Assists: 1. Steals: 3. Turnovers: 20. Fouls: 19. Fouled out: Rickard (4th 0:23), Whitt (4th 0:13).