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Ironton gets tough with Bulldogs, 76-66

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

CUYAHOGA FALLS — There’s an old saying attributed to legendary coach Knute Rockne and used often in motivational speaking, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
The Ironton Fighting Tigers must be ram tough.
Ironton built a 10-point lead, fell behind, then showed their toughness as they bounced back to take a 76-66 win over the Woodridge Bulldogs on Saturday in the Cuyahoga Falls Classic.
“Those kids had every opportunity let this game get away from them. But they pulled it together when everything went wrong. They persevered through everything. They just bared down and said, ‘we’re not going to let this happen.’”
Ironton big trio of Ethan Wilson, Charlie Large and Reid Carrico played like tough men as they accounted for 68 points.
Large scored 32 points including 26 in the first half, Wilson had 20 points and was 7-of-7 from the foul line to go with seven rebounds and seven steals, and Carrico had 16 points and eight rebounds.
Woodridge (6-3) was led by D.J. Snyder with 20 points. Michael Massey had 11 and Josh Decker 10.
The lead changed hands six times in the first quarter before a layup by Erickson Barnes just before the buzzer tied the game at 18.
Large erupted for 18 points in the second quarter including four 3-pointers, but it was a Carrico putback that gave Ironton its biggest lead of the half at 40-30.
A 17-footer by Large had Ironton (5-3) up 42-34 at intermission.
A layup by Joe Mehalik capped a 12-2 run by Woodridge to begin the second half and the Bulldogs led 46-44.
But Wilson took over and converted a 3-pointer play, got a steal and layup and hit a 3-pointer as Ironton regained the lead for good at 52-46. His layup with eight seconds left put Ironton up 54-47 at the end of the quarter.
Large followed up his own misses shot, Erickson Barnes hit a 3-poiner and Carrico had a steal and layup to make it 61-50.
A trey by Snyder and a layup by Mehalik got the Bulldogs within 63-55, but Ironton made 10 foul shots over the final 1:37 to seal the outcome.
While foul shooting has been somewhat of a thorn in Ironton’s side this season, the Fighting Tigers went 11-of-14 for the game including 10-of-10 in the fourth quarter.
“We knew this team could shoot. You’ve got to make free throws and play defense and you’ve got to stick together,” said LaFon.
Ironton hosts Rock Hill on Friday.
Ironton 18 24 12 22 = 76
Woodridge 18 16 13 19 = 66
IRONTON (5-3): Ethan Wilson 5 1 7-7 20, Jordan Grizzle 0 0 0-0 0, Reid Carrico 7 0 2-3 16, Charlie Large 9 4 2-2 32, Ayden Barnes 0 0 0-0 0, Collin Freeman 0 0 0-0 0, Hunter Humphreys 0 0 0-0 0, Erickson Barnes 1 2 0-0 8, Will York 0 0 0-0, Trent Hacker 0 0 0-0 0, Richard Thompson 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 29-51 11-14 76. 3-pt goals: 7-14. Rebounds: 6-O, 18-D = 24 (Carrico 8, Wilson 7). Team/deadball rebounds: 2. Assists: 6 (Wilson 3). Steals: 15 (Wilson 7, Freeman 4). Turnovers: 17. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None.
WOODRIDGE (6-3): D.J. Snyder 3 4 2-5 20, Michael Massey 2 1 4-4 11, Elijah Arnett 3 0 1-2 7, Joe Mehalik 3 1 0-0 9, Josh Decker 2 2 0-0 10, Jabron Driskill 1 1 1-1 6, Nicholas Williams 0 1 0-0 3. Totals: 24-43 8-12 66. 3-pt goals: 10-22. Rebounds: 2-O, 14-D = 16 (Decker 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 2. Assists: 6 (Mehalik 3). Steals: 3. Turnovers: 17. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: Snyder (4th 0:52).