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Ironton holds off Hornets

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Charlie Large (32) hits a 3-pointer as he scored three of his game-high 27 points. Ironton held on to beat the Coal Grove Hornets 67-62 on Friday. (Photo Courtesy of Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

COAL GROVE — Make it count.
That’s what the Ironton Fighting Tigers did with each possession as they held on to beat the Coal Grove Hornets 67-62 in an Ohio Valley Conference game on Friday.
“Every possession meant something. When it’s loud, it’s hard to make adjustments. We said you have to cover that lane. They did a good job adjusting,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.
Ironton (14-5, 9-3) took over sole possession of second place in the OVC while Coal Grove (13-6, 8-4) fell to third.
Charlie Large had a big game as he scored 27 points to lead all scorers. He also had eight rebounds and four assists.
Reid Carrico had 13 points and nine rebounds with Ethan Wilson getting 12 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Evan Gannon scored 18 points as he hit six 3-pointers. Jaylen McKenzie had 16 points, three steals and two assists. Aaron Music grabbed 13 rebounds.
Gannon’s 3-pointer and a baseline shot by Payten Smith gave Coal Grove a 10-4 lead but a three-point play by Wilson tied the game at 10 with 2:57 on the clock.
Carrico’s layup gave Ironton its first lead at the 2:34 mark and Wilson followed with a 15-footer.
But Cory Borders hit a trey with two seconds left in the quarter put the Hornets up 18-17.
Wilson and Jordan Grizzle hit trifectas to give Ironton its biggest lead at 27-19 but a pair of 3-pointers by Smith got the Hornets within 28-27 at the half.
Large made a layup and drained a triple to begin the second half as Ironton began to open up some breathing room.
Coal Grove got within 37-34 on a 3-pointer by Gannon but a 3-pointer by Trent Milleson and two foul shots by Collin Freeman put Ironton up 48-36 to end the quarter.
But the Hornets weren’t going to quit.
McKenzie scored five points, Music had a putback and it was 50-46.
Grizzle hit a 12-footer but Borders and Gannon hit back-to-back 3-pointer and the game was tied at 52 with 4:12 to go.
Large hit a trey and Carrico made a layup as Ironton went ahead for good at 57-52.
The Hornets got within 59-57 but Freeman made a foul shot and Wilson sank a pair for a 62-57 lead. A baseline shot by Large and a free throw by Carrico made it 65-59 with 43 seconds to play.
Ironton plays at 6 p.m. Saturday at Chesapeake and hosts Zane Trace on Tuesday. Coal Grove visits Rock Hill on Saturday.
Ironton 17 11 20 19 = 67
Coal Grove 18 9 9 26 = 62
IRONTON (14-5, 9-3): Ethan Wilson 2 1 3-4 12, Jordan Grizzle 1 1 1-4 6, Reid Carrico 5 0 3-5 13, Charlie Large 6 4 3-5 27, Ayden Barnes 0 0 0-0 0, Trent Milleson 0 2 0-0 6, Hunter Humphreys 0 0 0-0 0, Collin Freeman 1 0 3-4 5, Erickson Barnes 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-41 13-22 67. 3-pt goals: 8-15. Rebounds: 6-O, 31-D = 37 (Carrico 9, Large 8, Wilson 6). Team/deadball rebounds: 2. Assists: 13 (Wilson 5, Large 4). Steals: 6 (Grizzle 2, Freeman 2). Turnovers: 19. Fouls: 19. Fouled out: None.
COAL GROVE (13-6, 8-4): Aaron Music 3 0 3-4 9, Cory Borders 1 2 0-0 8, Evan Gannon 0 6 0-0 18, Nate Harmon 1 0 0-0 2, Payten Smith 1 2 1-2 9, Evan Holmes 0 0 0-0 0, Kyle Sites 0 0 0-0 0, Jaylen McKenzie 4 0 8-11 16. Totals: 20-57 12-17 62. 3-pt goals: 10-26. Rebounds: 10-O, 15-D = 25 (Music 13). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 6 (Music 3, McKenzie 2). Steals 8 (McKenzie 3, Music 2, Borders 2). Turnovers: 12. Fouls: 19. Fouled out: McKenzie (4th 1:56).