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Ironton falls in season finale

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

PORTSMOUTH — It was good, but not good enough.
The Ironton Fighting Tigers had the effort but it was the other things that they could not overcome in a 71-56 to the Portsmouth Trojans in an Ohio Valley Conference game on Friday.
As usual, Ironton battled hard from the opening tip to the final horn, but 24 turnovers and not blocking out on the defensive end led to some key putback baskets for the Trojans.
“I wish effort was enough, but you have to execute. We struggled with that spurt (in the third quarter). The problem is the energy you spend to fix that stuff. That run us and we didn’t have enough firepower to overcome it,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.
“The effort was there. We just have to get some things cleaned up. Maybe getting into tournament play we’ll take care of the ball.”
Charlie Large — playing in only his second game after returning from an injured ankle — scored a season-high 24 points including 13 in the fourth quarter to lead Ironton (6-15, 4-10).
Reid Carrico scored 17 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked two shots and Kyle Adkins had eight points and nine rebounds for the Fighting Tigers who were missing point guard and leading scorer Ethan Wilson with a sprained ankle.
Daniel Jordan scored 22 points and had 10 rebounds to lead Portsmouth (15-7, 8-6). Matthew Fraulini hit five 3-pointers and scored 18 points while Danny Lattimore came off the bench to score 11 points — all in the second half.
Portsmouth went up 11-3 to start the game before Large came off the bench to score Ironton’s next seven points including a 3-pointer and it was 13-10.
Layups by D.J. Eley and Gabe Gambill got the Trojans’ lead to 17-10 but a layup by Large and a steal and layup by Reid Carrico cut the deficit to 17-14 to end the quarter.
Carrico had back-to-back layups to get Ironton within 20-18 with 4:28 left in the half. A layup by Jordan to end the half made it 26-19.
Jordan had a putback to start the second half and then Carrico hit two straight shots to make it 28-23.
The Trojans then went on what proved to be the key scoring run of the game as they outscored Ironton 17-2 — Fraulini had a pair of 3-pointers in the spurt — and it was 45-25.
Large hit a short jumper to end the quarter and it was 50-32.
Carrico, Joel Blankenship and Ayden Barnes scored to start the fourth quarter and it was 50-38.
A layup by Adkins and two by Large got Ironton within 57-46 with 4:05 to lay, but the Fighting Tigers were forced to foul and the Trojans took advantage by converting 14-of-21 free throws including 6-of-9 by Reese Johnson and 4-of-4 by Jordan.
On Monday, Ironton plays Minford at 8 p.m. in the Division III sectional at Jackson.
Ironton       14    5    13    24    =    56
Portsmouth    17    9    24    21    =    71
IRONTON (6-15, 4-10): Joel Blankenship 1 0 0-0 2, Hunter Humphreys 0 0 0-0 0, Ayden Barnes 1 1 0-0 5, Kyle Adkins 1 2 0-1 8, Reid Carrico 8 0 1-2 17, Charlie Large 9 2 0-0 24, Trent Milleson 0 0 0-0 0, Ryan Payne 0 0 0-0 0, Ethan Adkins 0 0 0-0 0, Collin Freeman 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 25-61 1-3 56. 3-pt goals: 5-16. Rebounds: 19-O, 22-D = 41 (Carrico 12, K. Adkins 9). Team rebounds: 5. Assists: 5 (K. Adkins 2). Steals: 9 (Milleson 2, Carrico 2, Blankenship 2), K. Adkins 2). Turnovers: 24. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: None.
PORTSMOUTH (15-7, 8-6): D.J. Eley 1 0 0-0 2, Matthew Fraulini 0 5 3-4 18, Daniel Jordan 9 0 4-5 22, Danny Lattimore 2 2 1-2 11, Reese Johnson 1 0 6-9 8, Isaac Kelly 0 1 0-0 3, Myque McKinley 0 0 0-0 0, Gabe Gambill 3 0 0-0 6, Anthony Ferrara 0 0 0-0 0, Andrew Meadows 0 0 0-0 0, Deante Parker 0 0 0-0 0, Michael Duncan 0 0 1-2 1, Aubrey Holley 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24-57 15-22 71. 3-pt goals: 8-30. Rebounds: 12-O, 18-D = 30 (Jordan 10, Johnson 5). Team rebounds: 4. Assists: 10 (Eley 2, Fraulini 2, Gambill 2, Johnson 2). Steals: 14 (Johnson 5, Fraulini 5). Turnovers: 13. Fouls: 6. Fouled out: None.