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Pointers fall short in upset bid of Tomcats

South Point Pointers’ Marcus Malone (32) blocks the shot of an Ashland Tomcats’ player during Tuesday’s game. The Pointers lost 61-53 in their season opener. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

SOUTH POINT — South Point was on the verge of an upset and then someone put a lid on the basket.
The Pointers battled from a big deficit early to take the lead but couldn’t hold on as they fell 61-52 to the Ashland Tomcats in their season opener.
“We started off bad, but we battled back and got the lead. We just couldn’t make any shots down the stretch,” said Pointers’ coach Travis Wise.
Freshman Austin Webb led the Pointers with 19 points. Tayshaun Fox added 12 points.
Ashland was led by Chase Villers with 16 points but only five in the second half and all in the fourth quarter. Devaunte Robinson and Tyler Conway had 12 each.
Ashland jumped out to a 21-9 lead as Villers scored eight points and Robinson added four.
The Tomcats extended the lead to 34-21 at the half.
But the Pointers rallied in the third quarter and held Ashland to just six points as they cut the deficit to 40-35. Webb had seven points in the quarter while Douglas Shaffer and Roger Staggs each hit a 3-pointer.
South Point managed to take a 42-41 lead in the fourth quarter only to go cold from the field.
The Pointers were forced to foul down the stretch and Ashland converted 9-of-13 from the foul line. Villers was 3-of-4 and Conway 3-of-3 at the line while Justin Bradley hit a key 3-point goal — his only basket of the game.
Fox and Shaffer combined for 13 points in the quarter for the Pointers.
The Pointers were 22-of-53 from the field overall but just 4-of-15 from the 3-point line. They were 13-of-17 at the line while Ashland converted 19-of-26.
South Point will play South Webster at 2 p.m. on Saturday in the Newt Oliver Classic at the University of Rio Grande.
Ashland    21    13    6    21    =    61
South Point    9    12    14    18    =    53
ASHLAND (1-0): Hunter Mays 2 0 4-7 8, Chase Villers 3 2 4-5 16, Tyler Conway 0 3 3-3 12, Ethan Hudson 1 0 0-0 2, Chris May 0 0 0-0 0, Devaunte Robinson 5 0 2-3 12, Ryan Bryant 1 0 6-8 8, Justin Bradley 0 1 0-0 3. Totals: 12 6 19-26 61. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: Bryant, Robinson.
SOUTH POINT (0-1): Chance Gunther 0 0 0-0 0, Roger Staggs 1 1 2-2 7, Douglas Shaffer 0 2 3-4 9, Joel Morrison 0 0 0-0 0, Jared Whitt 0 1 0-0 3, Tayshaun Fox 4 0 4-5 12, Dustin McCarty 1 0 1-2 3, Austin Webb 8 0 3-4 19. Totals: 22-53 13-17 53. 3-pt goals: 4-15. Fouls: 22. Fouled out: None.