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Davis scores career-high 29 to help Ironton upset Portsmouth

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ senior Marques Davis scored a career-high 29 points in a 73-63 upset win over the Portsmouth Trojans on Tuesday. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ senior Marques Davis scored a career-high 29 points in a 73-63 upset win over the Portsmouth Trojans on Tuesday. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker



PORTSMOUTH — Sometimes players are “in the zone.” Marques Davis was not only in the zone, but he was setting up a residence.

Ironton senior guard buried seven 3-point goals and scored a career-high 29 points and the Fighting Tigers had a 31-point third quarter as they upset the Portsmouth Trojans 73-63 on Tuesday in an Ohio Valley Conference game.

Davis — who was 7-of-12 from behind the arc — had a few visitors in his zone as senior Travis Carey got 17 points and five rebounds while freshman Ethan Wilson added eight points, five assists, two steals and four rebounds.

Ironton won despite playing without its Family Pack — cousins Phil Kratzenberg, Ryan Bryant and Tyler Webb — as all three starters missed the game with injuries.

Carey was nearly a no-show. He took a fall on Monday in the fourth quarter and left the game but was cleared to play against Portsmouth.

Ironton coach Mark LaFon praised both players for the performances and toughness.

“It started with Marques shooting well. He did light it up. He had the touch,” said LaFon.

“Carey took a blow on Monday and here is back here today. They all played like warriors. They were truly Fighting Tigers.”

Ky’re Allison led the Trojans (10-6, 6-3) with 25 points — 19 in the second half — including four 3-point goals. He also had five rebounds.

Kendall Reynolds carried the Trojans in the first half with 18 points but managed just two free throws in the second half.

Reynolds had eight points in the first quarter including a putback at the buzzer that gave Portsmouth a 17-10 lead.

Davis hit a triple to begin the second quarter and baskets by Wilson and Carey cut the deficit to 20-17.

But a three-point play by Reynolds opened up a 25-19 lead and a 17-foot bank shot by D.J. Eley at the buzzer to put the Trojans ahead 29-22 at the break.

Ironton (9-9, 6-5) came out firing on all cylinders in the third quarter.

Hunter Klaiber and Wilson got the first two baskets and a layup by Wilson and triple by Davis got Ironton within 32-31 at the 6:20 mark.

Portsmouth answered with treys from Reese Johnson and Allison to lead 38-31, but Ironton scored nine unanswered points capped by Ty Gunthers’ layup at the 2:57 mark for a 42-41 lead.

Allison sank a foul shot but Davis hit his third 3-pointer of the quarter as Ironton took the lead for good.

A steal and layup by Davis to end the quarter put the Fighting Tigers up 53-44.

Davis made a long 3-pointer as Ironton took its biggest lead at 63-49 with just over four minutes to play.

Portsmouth rallied and got within 65-60 on two free throws by Jordan Lucas, but Carey made a driving layup and Ironton was 6-of-7 at the foul line over the final 1:13 — two each by Davis, Klaiber and Desmond Young — to seal the upset win.

LaFon said everyone played a role in the win.

“I couldn’t be more proud of them, their heart and physical effort. We played one of the more physical basketball games I’ve been a part of (Monday) night (at Fairland) and to come in here and play like this is a tribute to these kids,” said LaFon.

“Hunter (Klaiber) can shoot free throws so we put him in there and he knocked them down.”

Ironton hosts Chesapeake on Friday in a league game. Portsmouth goes to Coal Grove on Wednesday.

Ironton 10 12 31 20 = 73

Portsmouth 17 12 15 19 = 63

IRONTON (9-9, 6-5): Travis Carey 7 1 0-0 17, Ethan Wilson 4 0 0-0 8, Marques Davis 3 7 2-2 29, Desmond Young 1 0 3-4 5, Hunter Klaiber 2 0 2-2 6, Raphael Glover 1 0 2-2 4, Hunter Humphreys 0 0 0-0 0, Ty Gunther 2 0 0-0 4. Totals: 28-47 9-11 73. 3-point goals: 8-16. Rebounds: 8-O, 28-D = 36 (Davis 7, Young 6, Carey 5). Team rebounds: 4. Assists: 15 (Wilson 5, Young 4, Davis 3). Steals: 7 (Young 2, Davis 2, Wilson 2). Turnovers: 18. Blocks: 1 (Carey). Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None.

PORTSMOUTH (10-6, 6-3): Ethan Leonard 0 0 2-2 2, Ky’re Allison 4 4 5-10 25, Trent Rodbell 0 0 0-0 0, Kendall Reynolds 7 1 3-4 20, Reese Johnson 0 2 0-0 6, Mike Malone 0 1 0-0 3, D.J. Eley 1 1 0-0 5, Daniel Jordan 0 0 0-0 0, Jordan Lucas 0 0 2-2 2, Ty Oliver 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-53 12-19 63. 3-point goals: 9-32. Rebounds: 6-O, 11-D = 17 (Allison 5, Reynolds 3). Team rebound: 1. Assists: 6 (Johnson 4). Steals: 7 (Allison 3). Blocks: 3 (Allison 2). Turnovers: 11. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: Reynolds (4th 3:52).