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Ironton races past Minford, 77-55

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Reid Carrico (20) grabs a rebound from Minford Falcons’ Nathan McCormick in Monday’s Division III sectional tournament game. Ironton beat Minford 77-55 and faces Oak Hill at 8:30 p.m. Friday in the finals. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

JACKSON — In the movie Talladega Nights, the pit crew boss Lucius Washington asked, “Who wants to go fast?”
To which Ricky Bobby answered, “I want to go fast.”
Evidently, the Ironton Fighting Tigers can relate to Ricky Bobby after starting fast in a 77-55 win over the Minford Falcons on Monday in the Division III sectional tournament.
“In tournament time, you want to come out fast. It takes the pressure off and the anxiety,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.
Ironton (17-6) will now play Oak Hill at 8:30 p.m. on Friday in the sectional finals.
Helping Ironton go fast was beating the Minford press. The Fighting Tigers had just eight turnovers while their defense forced 16 Minford turnovers.
Team work was big for Ironton which had 15 assists but also numerous other extra passes to help set up the final pass for a basket.
“We’ve kind of got on each other that we need to see the assists going up. One way it comes is from attacking the basket. They (Minford) were forced to pressure us up high. We have a pretty good point guard. We never had much trouble with a press offense,” said LaFon.
Charlie Large led Ironton with 22 points to go with seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Point guard Ethan Wilson finished with 11 points and four assists and Jordan Grizzle added 11 points, four steals and a pair of assists.
The Falcons were living by the 3-point shot as they hit 13-of-28 attempts. However, they were 20-of-45 from the floor overall and had just five offensive rebounds.
Darius Jordan scored 25 points for Minford (7-16) including seven 3-pointers. Seven different Falcons hit from behind the arc.
“One thing I liked about our defense — we did up more 3s than I want — but because we did everything else correctly it didn’t faze us. They hit them from way out there,” said LaFon.
Ironton had 19 offensive rebounds and 37 overall. Reid Carrico — who scored 11 points — had 11 rebounds with seven coming on the offensive glass.
“We knew that the offensive rebound would be available in this game. Reid ended up with seven of them. He plays down in the paint area. He anchors everything we do. He gets double-doubles all the time. We applaud his effort,” said LaFon.
Ironton was up 5-3 early in the first quarter and then scored nine unanswered to lead 17-3 at the end of the quarter.
Large had a putback to begin the second quarter and it was 19-3.
A 3-pointer by Jordan hit a 3-point to cut the deficit to 26-17, but Hunter Humphreys made a layup, Ayden Barnes hit a trifecta and Humphreys followed up a shot and suddenly Ironton led 36-17.
Large had a steal and hit a 32-footer at the buzzer and it was 36-19 at the break.
Carrico’s putback pushed the lead to 50-30 before a 3-pointer by Collin Coriell and a layup by Jordan made it 50-35.
Ironton then got a layup by Trent Hacker and a steal and layup by Grizzle to go up 56-38. Cameron Dalton’s 3-pointer cut the lead to 56-41 to end the quarter.
Wilson made a layup, Large sank two free throws and Grizzle followed up his own missed shot and the lead jumped to 62-41.
The Fighting Tigers ran off eight straight points when Trent Milleson hit a baseline shot, Large a layup and trey and Carrico a foul shot and it was 76-50.
Minford 3 16 22 14 = 55
Ironton 17 19 20 21 = 77
MINFORD (7-16): Kelton Kelley 2 1 2-2 9, Elijah Voglesong-Lewis 0 1 0-0 3, Darius Jordan 2 7 0-0 25, Nathan McCormick 1 0 0-0 2, Cameron Dalton 2 1 0-0 7, Skylar Knore 0 0 0-0 0, Andy Crank 0 1 0-0 3, Collin Coriell 0 1 0-0 3, Trenteon Zimmerman 0 1 0-0 3, Drew Skaggs 0 0 0-0 0, Ethan Connally 0 0 0-0 0, Jonathon Strickland 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-45 2-2 55. 3-pt goals: 13-28. Rebounds: 5-O, 14-D = 19 (McCormick 6, Dalton 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 3. Assists. 3. Steals: 4 (Jordan 3). Turnovers: 16. Fouls: 9. Fouled out: None.
IRONTON (17-6): Ethan Wilson 3 2 1-2 13, Jordan Grizzle 4 1 0-1 11, Reid Carrico 5 0 1-2 11, Charlie Large 6 2 4-4 22, Ayden Barnes 0 1 0-0 3, Trent Milleson 4 0 0-0 8, Hunter Humphreys 2 0 0-0 4, Collin Freeman 1 0 0-0 2, Erickson Barnes 0 0 0-0 0, Will York 0 0 1-2 1, Richard Thompson 0 0 0-0 0, Trent Hacker 1 0 0-0 2, Brayden Easterling 0 0 0-0 0, Braxton Pringle 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 32-62 7-11 77. 3-pt goals: 6-16. Rebounds: 19-O, 18-D = 37 (Carrico 11, Large 7). Team/deadball rebounds: 5. Assists: 15 (Wilson 4, Large 4). Steals: 10 (Grizzle 4). Turnovers: 8. Fouls: 5. Fouled out: None.