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Nubians top ‘rusty’ Ironton

Ironton’s Trent Milleson (45) reaches for a rebound during Saturday’s game against Africentric. (Kent Sanborn/Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

It’s called running out of gas.
With only a little more than a week of practice due to football playoff run to the state title game, the Ironton Fighting Tigers were not only opening their season on Saturday, they had to do it against the Africentric Nubians, one of the preview Division 3 programs in the state.
Ironton led after the first quarter and trailed by 3 points going into the fourth quarter when the lack of basketball conditioning and practice reared its ugly head.
“We’ve had literally seven practices. A lot of that you can attribute that to dead legs and poor execution offensively,” said P.J. Fitch who was making his Ironton head coaching debut.
“That was a tough assignment to play a team like Africentric in your first game with little practice time. But I thought our kids played hard and never quit.”
Ironton had 17 turnovers including five in the fourth quarter that thwarted any comeback hopes.
Reid Carrico led Ironton with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Trent Milleson finished with 134 points and 4 rebounds while Jordan Grizzle and Trent Hacker had 6 rebounds each.
Daniel Wagner scored 13 points, Calijha’won Davis 11 and Elijahjuan Burke 10 for the Nubians (4-3).
After the Nubians took an early lead, Hacker got a layup off a pass from Carrico, Grizzle buried a trey to put Ironton up 9-6 and a steal and layup by Hacker made it 11-6.
Grizzle’s putback had the lead at 12-6 before Africentric’s Dailyn Swain scored just before the end of the quarter and it was 12-12.
The lead changed hands three times early in the second quarter until a 3-pointer by Austin Morris gave Africentric the lead at 22-19.
Milleson hit a 3-pointer just before the half to get Ironton within 34-28.
Another triple by Milleson and a layup by Carrico had Ironton down just 34-33 and another layup by Carrico tied the game at 35.
Wagner and Ironton’s Gage Salyers traded trifectas before layups by Swain and Wagner put the Nubians up 47-44 at the end of the quarter.
But fatigue set in as the fourth quarter began as the Nubians went on a 6-0 run to start the quarter.
Carrico’s layup stopped the run but Josiah Smith made a 3-pointer and the Nubians were up 56-46 with less than four minutes to play.
Ironton entertains Gallipolis on Friday.
Africentric 12 22 13 12 = 59
Ironton 13 15 16 5 = 49
AFRICENTRIC (4-3): Dailyn Swain 4 0 0-1 8, Elijahjuan Burke 5 0 0-0 10, Daniel Wagner 1 2 5-9 13, Earnest Johnson 0 0 0-0 0, Calijha’won Davis 1 2 3-4 11, Josiah Smith 1 2 0-1 8, Austin Morris 2 1 0-0 7, Hervon Jacobs 1 0 0-0 2, Milton Christie 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 7 8-15 59. Fouls: 8. Fouled out: None.
IRONTON (0-1): Gage Salyers 0 1 1-2 4, Trent Hacker 4 0 0-1 8, Jordan Grizzle 1 1 0-0 5, Reid Carrico 7 0 2-4 16, Trent Milleson 2 3 0-0 13, Brayden Easterling 1 1 0-0 5, Collin Freeman 0 0 0-0 0, Erickson Barnes 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 6, 3-6 49. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None.