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Hot-shooting Ironton guns down South Point

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ senior Tristan Cox drives through the South Point defense for a layup during Friday’s game. Ironton beat the Pointers 72-38. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ senior Tristan Cox drives through the South Point defense for a layup during Friday’s game. Ironton beat the Pointers 72-38. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

Wyatt Earp and “Wild Bill” Hickok were two of the best sharpshooters of the Old West.

Tristan Cox and Phillip Kratzenberg did their best sharp-shooting imitations in the first half on Friday as they helped propel the Ironton Fighting Tigers to a 72-38 Ohio Valley Conference win over the South Point Pointers.

Cox scored 15 of his 18 points in the first half on 6-of-9 shooting. “Wild Phil” Kratzenberg scored all 13 of his points in the first half as he made 5-of-6 shots.

For the game, Ironton was 28-of-47 from the field for 59.6 percent including 5-of-10 from behind the arc. The Fighting Tigers were also 11-of-14 at the foul line.

In fact, Ironton was 10-of-14 from the field in the first quarter and opening up a 25-5 lead.

“I thought the kids were very focused. Obviously, shooting the ball well helps a lot,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon. “We played really good defense. That was part of that rhythm. They were aggressive, they were anticipating what they were doing.

“In the second quarter they didn’t shoot lights out, but they continued to play good defense. I thought it was a really good first half for sure.”

Ironton’s Dylan Malone had 15 points with 13 coming in the fourth quarter. Malone also had six rebounds while Joe Bowling, Marques Davis and Cox all pulled down five each.

Cox also had three assists and two steals.

South Point (2-17, 1-10) was led by Ryan Gibson with 14 points and Alex Whitt came off the bench to score 8 points. Brady Rickard had four rebounds.

The Pointers were 12-of-36 from the floor for 33 percent.

After Cox and Kratzenberg combined for 19 points in the first quarter, the duo produced 7 points in the second quarter but their teammates accounted for 8 points as the lead ballooned to 43-14 at the half.

Layups by Bowling and Davis gave Ironton (11-9, 6-4) its biggest lead of 47-15 to date at the 5:25 mark of the third quarter.

South Point managed to cut the margin to 52-28 at the end of the quarter on a 3-pointers by Whitt.

The benches emptied in the fourth quarter and the final score proved to be Ironton’s biggest lead of the night.

It was senior night for Joe Bowling, Tanner Price, Malone and Cox along with Johnny Johnson and the group created some extra electricity.

“You could tell they were really excited and that came out in their play. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be,” said LaFon.

Although he scored only 5 points, LaFon praised the work of the 6-1 Bowling who went up against the 6-5 Rickard.

“He had to guard the Rickard kid, banging and pushing. Even though Rickard isn’t a big-type scorer, he battles and he forces you to keep him off the boards and that was Joe’s job and that’s what he did,” said LaFon.

Ironton plays at Coal Grove on Tuesday and visits Fairland on Friday to close out the regular season.

South Point hosted Lincoln County on Saturday and will hold senior night on Tuesday when Rock Hill visits. The Pointers end the season next Friday at Greenup County, Ky.

South Point 5 9 14 10 = 38

Ironton 25 18 9 20 = 72

SOUTH POINT (2-17, 1-10): Chris Woodard 0 0 0-0 0, Stephen Wagoner 2 0 1-2 5, Brady Rickard 2 0 1-2 5, Elijah Adams 0 2 0-0 6, Ryan Gibson 2 2 4-6 14, Alex Whitt 0 2 2-5 8, Cody Runyon 0 0 0-0 0, Drew Adams 0 0 0-1 0, Evan Bailey 0 0 0-0 0, Douglas Shaffer 0 0 0-0 0, Jared Whitt 0 0 0-0 0, Xavier Metsel 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 12-36 8-16 38. 3-point goals: 6-14. Rebounds: 3-off. 14-def. = 17 (Rickard 4, Gibson 3). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 4 (Wagoner 2). Steals: 3. Turnovers: 14. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: Rickard (4th 7:01).

IRONTON (11-9, 6-4): Phillip Kratzenberg 3 2 1-2 13, Joe Bowling 1 1 0-0 5, Tristan Cox 5 2 2-2 18, Marques Davis 2 0 2-4 6, Desmond Young 0 0 2-2 2, Tanner Price 2 0 0-0 4, Dylan Malone 6 0 3-4 15, Raphael Glover 2 0 1-2 5, Jake Isaac 1 0 0-0 2, Mitchell Weisgarber 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 28-47 11-14 72. 3-point goals: 5-10. Rebounds: 8-off. 26-def. = 34 (Malone 6, Bowling 5, Cox 5, Davis 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 14 (Cox 3, Price 2, Young 2, Malone 2). Steals: 7 (Cox 2). Turnovers: 10. Fouls: 16 Fouled out: None.