• 39°

Grizzle’s clutch 3-pointer keys Ironton over Panthers

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Jordan Grizzle (right) tries to keep the ball from Chesapeake Panthers’ defender Austin Jackson (left). (Photo Courtesy of Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

CHESAPEAKE — It wasn’t how much Jordan Grizzle scored, but rather when he scored.
The Ironton junior guard had just one basket in Saturday’s game but it might have been the most important shot of the game as the Fighting Tigers held on to beat the Chesapeake Panthers 59-52 in an Ohio Valley Conference game.
Ironton (15-5, 10-3) had built a 36-24 lead midway through the third quarter on a 13-footer by Ethan Wilson only to have Chesapeake get a 3-pointer by Logan Walsh to close the quarter and make it 41-33.
The Panthers — who played rival Fairland on Friday night — kept chipping away in the fourth quarter and used a layup by Eli Archer and three-point play by Travis Grim to get within 49-48.
That’s when Grizzle stepped up and buried a 3-pointer at the 2:34 mark for a 52-48 lead.
“We needed something,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon. “If you’re tough enough to take it, you better be tough enough to make it.”
The tough shot was answered by Archer’s layup but Charlie Large hit a big 15-footer and Collin Freeman sank both ends of a one-and-one with 26 seconds to go that put Ironton ahead 56-52.
Large then went 3-of-4 at the line over the final 13 seconds to secure the win and a probable second place finish in the league.
Ironton was coming off a tough 69-62 win at Coal Grove on Friday and LaFon did a lot of substituting to counter the fatigue.
“You could tell from the beginning we didn’t have any spring. I’m happy for gutting it out,” said LaFon.
Ironton led 15-8 after the first quarter and built a 24-10 lead on a short jumper by Large late in the second quarter.
But Trent Dearth hit a 3-pointer and Grim a layup to make it 24-15 at the half.
Archer scored to start the second half but Ironton’s Trent Milleson had a layup and 3-pointer for a 29-19 lead.
A trey by Levi Blankenship had the Panthers down 30-24 but Wilson scored six straight points to make it 36-24.
Large finished with a game-high 21 points and 10 rebounds. Wilson added 12 points and Reid Carrico had nine points despite sitting half the game in foul trouble.
However, backup center Hunter Humphreys had a key layup in the second quarter following a 3-pointer by Ayden Barnes.
“Hunter gave us a good first half.,” said LaFon.
Chesapeake (13-8, 5-8) was paced by Archer with 18 points. Blankenship added nine points and Tylan Hutchison had eight points and eight rebounds.
Ironton hosts Zane Trace on Tuesday and Portsmouth on Friday. Chesapeake entertains Gallipolis on Friday.
Ironton 15 9 17 18 = 59
Chesapeake 8 7 18 19 = 52
IRONTON (15-5, 10-3): Ethan Wilson 5 0 2-2 12, Jordan Grizzle 0 1 0-0 3, Reid Carrico 4 0 1-2 9, Charlie Large 7 1 4-6 21, Ayden Barnes 0 1 0-0 3, Trent Milleson 2 1 0-0 7, Hunter Humphreys 1 0 0-0 2, Collin Freeman 0 0 2-2 2, Erickson Barnes 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-46 9-13 59. 3-pt goals: 4-12. Rebounds: 8-O, 21-D = 29 (Large 10, Milleson 6, Wilson 5). Assists: 7 (Large 2). Steals: 9 (Carrico 3, Grizzle 2, Wilson 2). Turnovers; 17. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.
CHESAPEAKE (13-8, 5-8): Austin Jackson 0 1 0-0 3, Travis Grim 2 0 1-1 5, Nathan Cox 0 1 0-0 3, Trent Dearth 0 1 0-0 3, Eli Archer 9 0 0-2 18, Logan Walsh 0 1 0-0 3, Levi Blankenship 2 1 2-2 9, Tylan Hutchison 3 0 2-2 8, Josh Cox 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-54 5-7 52. 3-pt goals: 5-22. Rebounds: 6-O, 16-D = 22 (Hutchison 8). Team/deadball rebounds: 5. Assists: 9 (Hutchison 3). Steals: 9 (Dearth 2, Blankenship 2, Jackson 2). Turnovers: 16. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None.