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Ironton routs HSJ

Ironton Fighting Tigers' Phillip Kratzenberg (4) scored 18 points in a 71-48 rout of Huntington St. Joseph on Wednesday in the Huntington Invitational. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Phillip Kratzenberg (4) scored 18 points in a 71-48 rout of Huntington St. Joseph on Wednesday in the Huntington Invitational. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Coach Mark LaFon is taking the good with the bad. Fortunately, the good is outweighing the bad.

Although Ironton didn’t play well defensively in the first quarter, the Fighting Tigers were very good in the second and their quarters as they routed the Huntington St. Joseph Fighting Irish 71-48 on Wednesday in the Huntington Invitational held at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

Ironton was tied 20-20 at the end of the first quarter but held the Irish to just five points in each of the next two quarters.

“I was not happy with first quarter, but they were hitting some shots. Still, we don’t give up those kind of layups. But after that we held them to five in the second quarter and then five in the third quarter,” said LaFon.

Ironton (9-7) had its best shooting performance of the season. The Fighting Tigers hit 29 of 47 shots for 62 percent including 5 of 8 from the 3-point arc.

On the defensive side, Ironton held the Irish to 18 of 46 shooting for 39 percent and only 4 of 22 from the 3-point line for 18 percent.

Phillip Kratzenberg scored 18 points — he was 4 of 4 from the 3-point line — to lead three Ironton players in double figures. Tristan Cox had 16 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals while Dylan Malone had 14 points and 11 rebounds.

“(Kratzenberg) has always been a worker, but now we can’t keep him out of the gym. And the other kids are starting to follow and our shooting has improved,” said LaFon.

“If you can get three or four guys who can put points on the boards — double figures — it makes you very dangerous. It makes it hard to scout.”

The lead changed hands nine times, the final time came when Joe Bowling hit a short turnaround jumper for a 25-24 lead.

Bowling’s basket ignited a 29-1 run by Ironton that culminated on a trifecta by Kratzenberg for a 52-25 lead midway through the third quarter.

Kratzenberg had a big third quarter with 12 points. After hitting his two attempts in the first half, he made five straight in the third quarter before his first miss.

A layup by Malone to begin the fourth quarter gave Ironton its biggest lead at 58-30.

Deaundra Murphy scored 19 points and Ian Clark 11 to lead St. Joseph (8-7).

Ironton plays Columbus South at 5:30 p.m. in the Athletic Hall of Fame Day.

“This is going to be the big, big test. They’re really good. They’re aggressive and they’re strong. This will be a very good gauge where we are,” said LaFon.

Belpre plays Rose Hill Christian at 2 p.m. followed by the Ironton girls and Raceland at 3:45 p.m. The five new members will be introduced before the boys’ game.

Tickets are $10 for a single or $20 for a couple if fans attend the games and then the Hall of Fame induction dinner. Tickets for the dinner only are $15 each.

Ironton 20 16 20 15 = 71

Hunt. St. Joe 20 5 5 18 = 48

IRONTON (9-7): Phillip Kratzenberg 3 4 0-0 18, Joe Bowling 3 0 1-2 7, Tristan Cox 5 1 3-4 16, Marques Davis 2 0 0-0 4, Desmond Young 1 0 1-3 3, Dylan Malone 6 0 2-2 14, Tanner Price 0 0 0-0 0, Raphael Glover 4 0 1-2 9. Totals: 29-47 8-13 71. 3-point goals: 5-8. Rebounds: 8-O, 23-D = 31 (Malone 11, Cox 6). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 9 (Cox 3, Bowling 3). Steals: 10 (Davis 3, Cox 2, Kratzenberg 2). Turnovers: 14. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None.

HUNTINGTON ST. JOSEPH (8-7): Ian Clark 5 0 1-3 11, Deaundra Murphy 5 2 3-4 19, Owen Huffman 1 1 0-0 5, Travis McNeil 1 0 3-4 5, Jacob Streiter 2 1 0-2 7, John Morrison 0 0 0-0 0, Hunter Adams 0 0 0-0 0, Isaac Bias 0 0 0-0 0, Casey Colquit 0 0 1-2 1. Totals: 18-46 8-15 48. 3-point goals: 4-22. Rebounds: 9-O, 13-D = 22 (McNeil 8). Team/deadbfall rebounds: 2. Assists: 3 (Murphy 2). Steals: 7 (Murphy 3). Turnovers: 17. Fouls: 8. Fouled out: None.