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Ironton uses shutdown defense to get 56-19 win

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

In baseball, Jack Billingham, Fred Toney and Hod Eller all pitched seven shutouts in one season.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers need six to tie.

In an outstanding defensive effort, Ironton “pitched” a fourth quarter shutout en route to a 56-19 Ohio Valley Conference win over the Rock Hill Redmen on Friday.

Ironton led 31-14 at the half and then allowed only five points in the second half.

“We played pretty good in the first half. Sometimes when you’re playing good defense you throw a shutout. You’ve got to do that every now and then if you’re getting better on defense,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.

Travis Carey hit a trifecta at the 5:19 mark of the first quarter that put Ironton up for good at 3-2.

Marques Davis made two more 3-pointers and Carey had another for a 17-4 lead. Brady Knipp had his own 3-pointer at the buzzer to get Rock Hill within 17-7.

A foul shot by Alex Nance had the Redmen down 22-11, but Phil Kratzenberg — who missed the last four games with an injury — hit a 3-pointer as Ironton went on a 9-3 run to end the half and it was 31-14.

The pace slowed dramatically in the third quarter as Ironton outscored Rock Hill 9-5 and led 40-19.

“Obviously we had changed the way we were playing — and sometimes that’s hard,” said LaFon.

“When the game doesn’t dictate for you to change and you just say ‘slow down’ or ‘quit pressing,’ it gets you in a different mindset. We struggled with that so I had to kind of speed them up again and they took care of it and finished off the game in the fourth quarter.”

Ironton was 7-of-11 form the field in the fourth quarter in outscoring Rock Hill 16-0.

“I was happy with the way the kids played defensively and the way they got themselves going offensively when they got a little stagnant,” said LaFon.

Carey and Davis scored 13 points each and Wilson had 11 points for Ironton (8-8, 5-4). Carey also had seven rebounds while Ryan Bryan and Raphael Glover grabbed six each.

The Fighting Tigers were 21-of-38 from the field for 55 percent while the Redmen )0-15, 0-10) were just 7-of-31 for 23 percent.

In the first meeting on Jan. 5, Ironton won 47-35. LaFon noted the difference between the two games.

“From that game at Rock Hill to here, our kids made all the adjustments they had to make in order to play better against them and that’s growth and that’s what I’m looking for,” said LaFon.

Ironton plays at Fairland on Monday and Portsmouth on Tuesday. Rock Hill was at Symmes Valley on Saturday and visits St. Joseph on Tuesday.

Rock Hill 7 7 5 0 = 19

Ironton 17 14 9 16 = 56

ROCK HILL (0-16, 0-10): Tyler Damron 0 0 1-4 1, Alex Nance 1 0 2-2 4, Nathan Turvey 1 1 0-1 5, Brady Knipp 0 1 0-0 3, Cameron Barnette 2 0 0-0 4, Mason Darby 1 0 0-0 2, Jaret Bacorn 0 0 0-2 0, Jake Blagg 0 0 0-0 0, Logan Reed 0 0 0-0 0, Isaac Floyd 0 0 0-0 0, Kaden France 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 7-31 3-9 19. 3-point goals: 2-18. Rebounds: 4-O, 10-D = 14 (Barnette 5, Bacorn 3). Team rebounds: 1. Assists: 1. Steals: 4 (Damron 3). Turnovers: 18. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.

IRONTON (8-8, 5-4): Phil Kratzenberg 1 2 0-0 8, Ethan Wilson 5 0 1-2 11, Marques Davis 3 2 1-1 13, Ryan Bryant 1 0 0-0 2, Travis Carey 1 2 5-6 13, Raphael Glover 4 0 1-1 9, Hunter Klaiber 0 0 0-0 0, Aiden Barnes 0 0 0-0 0, Kyle Adkins 0 0 0-0 0, Hunter Humphreys 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-38 8-10 56. 3-point goals: 6-14. Rebounds: 7-O, 21-D = 28 (Carey 7, Bryant 6). Team rebounds: 3. Assists: 11 (Davis 3, Carey 2, Wilson 2). Steals: 6 (Klaiber 2). Turnovers: 10. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None.