Scoring spurt keys Ironton’s 52-38 win

Published 4:39 am Thursday, February 18, 2016

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Phil Kratzenberg (4) drives past a Nelsonville-York defender to make a layup during Tuesday’s Division III sectional tournament. Ironton won 52-38. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Phil Kratzenberg (4) drives past a Nelsonville-York defender to make a layup during Tuesday’s Division III sectional tournament. Ironton won 52-38. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker


JACKSON — A short burst can go a long way.

Ironton used a quick scoring burst to begin the second half to propel the Fighting Tigers to a 52-38 win over the Nelsonville-York Buckeyes on Wednesday in the Division III sectional tournament.

Ironton’s leads bounced between two and nine points the first half including 25-18 at the break.

But a driving layup by Travis Carey and layup by Marques Davis off a nice pass from Phil Kratzenberg quickly made it 29-18 to start the third quarter and the spread made it hard for Nelsonville-York to recover.

“The spurt coming out in the third quarter was huge. It gave us a little breathing room right off the bat and made us a little confident,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.

“It was sloppy going around and then all of the sudden Phillip stepped up and gets his hands on the ball and makes a good pass going in for a layup and Marques hit a couple of shots. So that kind of stuff kind of helped.”

The Buckeyes didn’t fade away. They scored five straight points and trailed 29-23 with about six minutes left in the quarter, but Davis drained a trifecta and Kratzenberg got a layup for a 34-23 lead.

Hunter Edwards’ hit N-Y’s only 3-pointer and a foul shot to cut the deficit to 34-27, but two foul shots by Carey and one by Ryan Bryant pushed the lead to 37-27 at the end of the quarter.

Davis knocked down another trey to start the fourth quarter as Ironton went up 40-27.

A layup by Davis and a putback by Raphael Glover gave Ironton its biggest lead of 48-33 with 2:14 to play.

“As long as you win in the tournament, you get to fix it tomorrow. So that’s what we’re going to do. We’ve done a lot of that

David has 12 points to lead a balanced Ironton offense. Bryant had nine points and eight rebounds, Carey had eight points and eight rebounds, Kratzenberg eight points, four assists and three steals, and Desmond Young nine rebounds.

Edwards had 16 points and Aron Davis 12 points and eight rebounds for the Buckeyes (6-17).

Ironton (12-10) will now play Wheelersburg at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday in the sectional finals at Jackson High School.

“The physical effort to play I was okay with. It was just the execution of the mental piece,” said LaFon. “Sometimes the first game of the tournament they know this is the first step and you don’t get to play if you don’t take care of business.

“Sometimes you get past this and you see a lot better games in the finals.”

The game was tied five times and the lead changed hands four times in the first half.

“The kids battled throughout the game. They handled themselves with some level of professionalism. They could have got real tight in the first half. They played through it and came back the second half and got a couple of quick baskets,” said LaFon.

Ironton controlled the boards 46-23 including 20 on the offensive glass but failed on numerous occasions to get rebound baskets.

“We missed a lot of easy ones. There were a lot of opportunities we left on the table. The good thing about it is there were opportunities. It’s not like we didn’t have the shots. That’s when you have real problems when you’re saying we can’t even find a shot and you’re shooting everything from 19 feet and can’t get inside,” said LaFon.

Nelsonville 10 8 9 11 = 38

Ironton 12 13 12 15 = 52

NELSONVIILE-YORK (6-17): Hunter Edwards 4 1 5-8 16, Christian Berry 0 0 0-0 0, Ronnie Wend 2 00-0 4, Noah Andrews 1 0 1-2 3, Aron Davis 6 0 0-0 12, Patrick Gail 0 0 0-0 0, Jakob Talbert 0 0 3-4 3, Jonathan Richards 0 0 0-0 0, Conner Blake 0 0 0-0 0, Alex Williams 0 0 0-0 0, Levi Wickman 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-45 9-14 38. 3-point goals: 1-13. Rebounds: 8-O, 15-D = 23 (Davis 8) Team rebounds: 4. Assists: 5 (Berry 2). Steals: 7 (Berry 3). Turnovers: 14. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: Davis (4th 3:12).

IRONTON (12-10): Phil Kratzenberg 4 0 0-0 8, Travis Carey 3 0 2-2 8, Marques Davis 3 2 0-0 12, Desmond Young 1 0 0-0 2, Hunter Klaiber 0 0 0-0 0, Ethan Wilson 2 0 3-3- 7, Ryan Bryant 2 0 5-8 9, Ty Gunther 0 0 0-0 0, Raphael Glover 3 0 0-0 6, Kyle Adkins 0 0 0-0 0, Hunter Humphreys 0 0 0-0 0, Ayden Barnes 0 0 0-0 0, Joel Blankenship 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-51 10-13 52. 3-point goals: 2-10. Rebounds: 20-O, 26-D = 46 (Young 9, Carey 8, Bryant 8). Team rebounds: 5. Assists: 10 (Kratzenberg 4, Wilson 3). Steals: 9 (Kratzenberg 3, Carey 2). Turnovers: 17. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.