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Turnovers plague Ironton in loss

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Charlie Large (32) drives the baseline for a layup against the Wheelersburg defense during Saturday’s game. (Photo by Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

WHEELERSBURG — Somebody take those shovels away from the Ironton Fighting Tigers.
Ironton again dug itself an early hole and had to battle back in a 46-30 loss to the Wheelersburg Pirates on Saturday.
The Fighting Tigers (3-7) were guilty of 18 turnovers — mostly unforced — that limited them to only 29 field goal attempts for the game.
“It seems like at some point in the game we dig ourselves a hole. We made some poor decisions, turning the ball over. Turnovers were huge,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.
“We didn’t have breakdowns in the game plan. You can’t dig yourself a hole like that. We did a good job in the first half holding them down. The defense was fine. But you have to score some and you can’t give them the easy baskets because of turnovers.”
Ironton was 13-of-29 from the field for 45 percent. Wheelersburg (7-1) made 19-of-45 attempts for 42 percent. The Pirates came into the game averaging 64 points a game.
The game was scoreless until the Wheelersburg got a layup by Cole Lowery at the 5:24 mark.
The Pirates then continued on a 12-0 run and Ironton finally scored at the 2:05 mark on a putback by Reid Carrico. Connor Mullins hit a short jumper and it was 14-2 at the end of the quarter.
Baskets by Ethan Wilson and Charlie Large got Ironton within 18-10. J.J. Truitt hit a layup, Tanner Holden hit a free throw and Mullins made a 3-pointer and it was 24-10 at the break.
Ironton shot 80 percent from the field in the second quarter but they only took five shots. The Fighting Tigers had 13 turnovers in the first half with seven coming in the second quarter.
The Fighting Tigers came out fast to begin the second half as Wilson sank two free throws and Large and Carrico made layups and it was 24-16.
“We stopped turning the ball over and tried to win the ballgame,” said LaFon.
Back-to-back baskets by Carrico cut the deficit to 27-20. But 3-pointers by Dustin Darnell and Lowery sandwiched around a layup by Carrico and it was 33-22.
Darnell hit another 3-pointer to begin the fourth quarter but Kyle Adkins answered with a trifecta for Ironton and it was 36-25.
But the Pirates went on a 9-3 run to seal the outcome.
Carrico led Ironton with 10 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Wilson finished with seven points, six rebounds and five assists.
“Hats off to Wilson for gutting it out. He played with a grade one ankle sprain. He’s the toughest kid we have. And hats off to Reid. He’s just a freshman and he was up against a big kid (6-4 senior Mack Dyer) and he didn’t back off,” said LaFon.
Holden had 17 points and seven rebounds for the Pirates. Lowery — who had 31 points in a win over Valley on Friday — had nine points.
Ironton visits Chesapeake on Tuesday.
Ironton     2    8    12    8    =    30
Wheelersburg     14    10    9    13    =    46
IRONTON (3-7): Ethan Wilson 2 0 3-9 7, Joel Blankenship 1 0 0-0 2, Charlie Large 3 0 0-0 6, Ayden Barnes 0 0 0-0 0, Reid Carrico 5 0 0-2 10, Kyle Adkins 0 1 0-0 3, Trent Milleson 1 0 0-0 2, Ryan Payne 0 0 0-0 0, Collin Freeman 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13-29 4-11 30. 3-pt goals: 1-6. Rebounds: 5-O, 19-D = 24 (Carrico 8, Wilson 6, Large 4). Team rebounds: 1. Assists: 7 (Wilson 5). Steals: 3 (Carrico 2). Turnovers: 18. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None.
WHEELERSBURG (7-1): Connor Mullins 2 1 1-2 8, Mack Dyer 0 0 0-0 0, Cole Lowery 3 1 0-1 9, Tanner Holden 7 0 3-6 17, J.J. Truitt 3 0 0-0 6, Dustin Darnell 0 2 0-0 6, Justin Salyers 0 0 0-2 0. Totals: 19-45 4-11 46. 3-pt goals: 4-17. Rebounds: 9-O, 14-D = 23 (Holden 7). Team rebounds: 6. Assists: 4. Steals: 7 (Holden 3). Turnovers: 10. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None.