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Mondlak’s last-second shot gives Dragons win

Fairland Dragons’ Matt Mondlak (11) takes aim as he hits the game-winning basket at the buzzer to beat the Ironton Fighting Tigers 30-28 on Tuesday. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

Matt Mondlak was rather quiet after the first quarter. But he made some loud noise to end the game.
Mondlak scored five points in the first quarter and nothing until the fourth quarter. He did make to clutch free throws that tied the game with 1:27 to play, but it was his driving layup at the buzzer that gave the Fairland Dragons a key 30-28 win over the Ironton Fighting Tigers on Tuesday.
The shot not only gave the Dragons the win but kept them alone atop the Ohio Valley Conference at 7-1. Ironton fell to 10-5 and 5-3.
Ironton limited Fairland to just two offensive rebounds and 14 overall as well as 23 field goal attempts. But the Fighting Tigers had 10 offensive rebounds but were just 10-of-32 from the floor.
“The effort was better defensively (that the first meeting). We had the looks at the rim and we did a good job rebounding. We have to have that (the shots falling),” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.
Ironton led 4-2 early on baskets by Charlie Large and Reid Carrico.
But Fairland went up 11-4 as Matt Mondlak hit a 3-pointer and Aiden Porter made back-to-back triples.
Ethan Wilson hit a short driving shot as Ironton ended the 9-0 run but a layup by Jacob Polcyn on a pass from Clayton Thomas and the Dragons led 13-6 at the end of the quarter.
Fairland (12-4) opened up a 15-6 lead to begin the second quarter on a layup by Gavin Hunt.
Ironton then scored seven unanswered points to get within 15-13 at the half as Erickson Barnes hit a 3-pointer and Wilson and Large each made two foul shots.
The scoring run for Ironton continued to begin the second half as Wilson made two foul shots to tie the game and then Large came up with a steal and fed Carrico for the go-ahead layup.
Porter hit a 3-pointer as Fairland regained the lead at 18-17. Port then made a layup and two foul shots for a 22-17 lead before Wilson’s 10-footer got Ironton within 22-19 at the end of the quarter.
A tip-in by Large cut the deficit to 26-23 and a clutch 3-pointer by Ayden Barnes tied the game with 3:38 left. Large followed up his own shot as Ironton took a 28-26 lead with 2:40 to go.
Mondlak then made two fouls shot to tie the game. Ironton missed a shot with 30 seconds to play that allowed Fairland to play for the last shot.
Porter scored 17 points with Mondlak getting nine.
Wilson and Large had eight points each for Ironton.
On Friday, Ironton goes to Gallipolis and Fairland visits Coal Grove.
Fairland 13 2 7 8 = 30
Ironton 6 7 6 9 = 28
FAIRLAND (12-4, 7-1): Jacob Polcyn 1-3 0-0 0-0 2, Aiden Porter 3-4 3-3 2-3 17, Matt Mondlak 2-2 1-4 2-2 9, Ian Chinn 0-0 0-0 0-1 0, Clayton Thomas 0-0 0-5 0-0 0, Gavin Hunt 1-2 0-0 0-0 2, Andy Lang 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Austin Gartin 0-0 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 11-23 4-6 30. 3-pt goals: 4-12. Rebounds: 2-O, 12-D = 14 (Polcyn 5, Thomas 3, Mondlak 3). Team/deadball rebounds: 2. Assists: 7 (Thomas 5). Steals: 4. Turnovers: 12. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None.
IRONTON (10-5, 5-3): Ethan Wilson 2-6 0-1 4-4 8, Jordan Grizzle 1-1 0-1 0-0 2, Reid Carrico 2-7 0-0 0-0 4, Charlie Large 3-7 0-4 2-2 8, Ayden Barnes 0-0 1-1 0-0 3, Trent Milleson 0-0 0-1 0-0 0, Hunter Humphreys 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Collin Freeman 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Erickson Barnes 0-0 1-2 0-0 3. Totals: 10-32 6-6 28. 3-pt goals 2-10. Rebounds: 10-O, 10-D = 20 (Large 5, Wilson 5, Carrico 3). Team/deadball rebounds: 1. Assists: 5 (7 (Large 4, Wilson 2). Steals: 5 (Large 3). Turnovers: 10. Fouls: 10. Fouled out: None.