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Ironton rally falls just short

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Ethan Wilson goes high in the air in the lane and kicks out to teammate Jordan Grizzle who his a jumper during Saturday’s game. (Photo Courtesy of Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

Saturday’s game may have been lost on Friday.
The Ironton Fighting Tigers played an emotional, exhausting game on Friday beating the Gallipolis Blue Devils 59-57.
The Wheelersburg Pirates were sitting in their lounge chairs by halftime of an 85-31 romp over Northwest.
On Saturday, Wheelersburg jumped out to a 13-0 lead as Ironton missed its first six shots while the Pirates three 3-pointers in building the lead.
Trailing 20-6 after the first quarter, Ironton outscored the Pirates by six points the rest of the game and got within five points late in the game. But the early deficit was too much to overcome as the Fighting Tigers fell 66-58 to the unbeaten Pirates.
Ironton was only 2-of-11 from the field in the first quarter and finished 22-of-52 for 42 percent. Wheelersburg was 20-of-43 for 47 percent from the floor.
Ethan Wilson had 20 points, four assists and three steals while Charlie Large got 20 points and seven rebounds for Ironton (3-2).
The Pirates (4-0) were led by J.J. Truitt with 30 points and Tanner Holden finished with 19 points and nine rebounds.
Holden hit a 3-pointer to start the game, Matt Miller made a layup, Holden had another trey, Connor Mullins hit a 3-pointer and Holden a layup and it was 13-0 with less than five minutes into the game.
Wilson’s layup off a pass from Reid Carrico got Ironton on the board at the 4:24 mark but the Pirates continued their hot shooting and led 20-6.
Large took over to start the second quarter with a baseline jumper, a trifecta and a short hook shot from the lane. Carrico made a foul shot and it was 20-14 with 4:08 left in the half.
Truitt went deep twice and Holden a 10-footer as the lead jumped back to 28-14. Large hit an 18-footer but Truitt got another 3-pointer with two seconds left and it was 31-16 at the half.
An 18-footer by Large and layup by Carrico started the second half comeback for Ironton and a putback by Trent Milleson with two seconds left in the quarter had Ironton with 43-33.
Wilson’s baseline jumper and then steal and layup cut the deficit to 45-37 with 7:10 to play.
Wilson converted a three-point play and drained a triple with 5:12 to go and Ironton was down 49-43.
A 3-pointer by Mullins upped the lead to 54-43 but two foul shots by Large, a layup by Carrico and a trey from Jordan Grizzle with 1:12 to go got Ironton within 59-53. Milleson ank two foul shots and it was 60-55 with 45 seconds left.
Ironton was forced to foul and the Truitt and Trent Salyers each made two free throws and it was 64-58 with 25 seconds left.
Ironton missed a field goal attempt and Holden got a meaningless breakaway putback that set the score at 66-58.
Ironton will host the 11th annual Classic on Friday and Saturday.
Wheelersburg 20 11 12 23 = 66
Ironton 6 10 17 25 = 58
WHEELERSBURG (4-0): Trent Salyers 0 2 2-2 8, Connor Mullins 0 2 0-0 6, Justin Salyers 0 0 0-0 0, J.J. Truitt 4 5 7-9 30, Tanner Holden 4 2 5-6 19, Matt Miller 1 0 0-2 2, Ashton Clevenger 0 0 0-2 0, Dustin Darnell 0 0 0-0 0, Carter McCorkle 0 0 1-2 1. Totals: 20-43 15-23 66. 3-pt goals: 11-19. Rebounds: 7-), 18-D = 25 (Holden 9). Team/deadball rebounds: 6. Assists: 4. Steals: 8 (Miller 3, T. Salyers 2). Turnovers: 9. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None.
IRONTON (3-2): Ethan Wilson 4 3 3-3 20, Jordan Grizzle 1 1 0-0 5, Reid Carrico 2 0 1-2 5, Charlie Large 6 2 2-2 20, Trent Milleson 3 0 2-2 8, Ayden Barnes 0 0 0-0 0, Hunter Humphreys 0 0 0-0 0, Trent Hacker 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22-52 8-9 58. 3-pt goals: 6-19. Rebounds: 11-O, 21-D = 32 (Carrico 7, Large 7, Milleson 7). Team/deadball rebounds: 5. Assists: 9 (Wilson 4, Grizzle 3). Steals: 5 (Wilson 4). Turnovers: 10. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: Grizzle (4th 0:25).