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Ironton falters down the stretch yet again

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Ethan Wilson (12) hits a shot inside the lane for two of his 15 points. Ironton lost to Portsmouth 66-50 on Tuesday in an Ohio Valley Conference game. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Ethan Wilson (12) hits a shot inside the lane for two of his 15 points. Ironton lost to Portsmouth 66-50 on Tuesday in an Ohio Valley Conference game. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

Ironton coach Mark LaFon can almost make a timeline for his games. And at one certain point of that timeline, he knows what’s going to happen.

And it’s not good.

Somewhere in the fourth quarter things seem to turn the wrong way for Ironton and it happened for the eight time this season as the Fighting Tiger lost 66-50 to the Portsmouth Trojans on Tuesday in an Ohio Valley Conference game.

Travis Carey had hit a 13-footer and Ethan Wilson sank two foul shots with 6:21 to play to get Ironton within 48-47.

Ironton then got a stop but Ky’re Allison stole the ball, scored, was fouled and completed the 3-point play for a 51-47 lead.

“It was that point again when we start making those mental mistakes,” said LaFon. “Sometimes turnovers are physical, sometimes they’re mental. We had some defensive breakdowns.

“It seems like every game we find that spot for just about two minutes. Now this case, as explosive as they are, they got to the (foul) line and stretched the lead all the way out.”

Allison’s play triggered a 14-0 run that put Portsmouth up 62-47 with 2:48 to play. During the run, the Trojans went 7-for-7 at the foul line. They were 13-of-15 for the quarter and 18-of-21 for the game.

“The free throw shooting at that stretch was just back-breaking. They hit them all. Combine that with our mental breakdown, and them going to the line it just wears you down,” said LaFon.

“They’re athletic enough at the guard position to hold that ball at the end of the game like they did.”

Allison scored 29 points including 13-of-13 at the line. Kendall Reynolds added 17 points for the Trojans who were 20-of-40 from the field including 8-of-21 from the 3-point line.

“Allison is the main reason for them getting to the basket,” said LaFon. “Most of the time you know when the game gets tight most of the time the guy, the man on the other team — which Allison is the man for them — is going to take it and we’re letting him go one-on-one.”

Portsmouth (8-5, 4-2) built a 20-10 lead in the first quarter after a 3-pointer by Dakota Reynolds, but Marques Davis hit back-to-back trifectas for Ironton, Wilson made a layup, Desmond Young hit a short baseline shot and Wilson came up with a steal and layup to give Ironton a 22-20 lead at the end of the quarter.

The lead changed hands three times to begin the second quarter until a trey by Allison gave Portsmouth the lead for good at 26-24 with 5:54 left in the half. Allison’s 3-point play with six seconds left made it 33-28 at the break.

Wilson scored seven points in the third quarter, Davis hit another triple and a foul shot by Ryan Bryant got Ironton within 46-43 at the end of the quarter and set up the pivotal fourth quarter.

Davis led Ironton (6-8, 3-4) with 19 points while Wilson had 15 points, five assists and two steals. Tyler Webb had six rebounds and Bryant five.

Ironton visits Fairland on Friday.

Portsmouth 20 13 13 20 = 66

Ironton 22 6 15 7 = 50

PORTSMOUTH (8-5, 4-2): Ethan Leonard 0 1 2-2 5, Ky’re Allison 5 2 13-13 29, Trent Rodbell 0 1 0-0 3, Kendall Reynolds 4 2 3-6 17, Reese Johnson 3 1 0-0 9, Daniel Jordan 0 0 0-0 0, Dakota Reynolds 0 1 0-0 3, Jordan Lucas 0 0 0-0 0, A.J. Jones 0 0 0-0 0, D.J. Eley 0 0 0-0 0, Mike Malone 0 0 0-0 0, Jahmir King 0 0 0-0 0, Ty Oliver 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-40 18-21 66. 3-point goals: 8-21. Rebounds: 5-O, 15-D = 20 (Allison 6, K. Reynolds 6). Team rebounds: 1. Assists: 4 (Allison 2). Steals: 7 (Allison 3, K. Reynolds 2). Turnovers: 11. Fouls: 10. Fouled out: None.

IRONTON (6-8, 3-4): Ethan Wilson 6 0 3-3 15, Marques Davis 2 5 0-3 19, Travis Carey 2 0 0-0 4, Ryan Bryant 0 0 1-2 1, Tyler Webb 2 0 1-3 5, Desmond Young 2 0 0-0 4, Raphael Glover 1 0 0-0 2, Ty Gunther 0 0 0-0 0, Kyle Adkins 0 0 0-0 0, Hunter Klaiber 0 0 0-0 0, Hunter Humphreys 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-39 5-11 50. 3-point goals: 5-15. Rebounds: 5-O, 17-D = 22 (Webb 6, Bryant 5). Team rebounds: 2. Assists: 7 (Wilson 5). Steals: 5 (Wilson 2). Turnovers: 16. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None.