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Ironton wins 62-61 thriller over Trojans

Ironton’s Collin Freeman (21) drives against Portsmouth’s Matthew Fraulini. (Tony Shotsky/Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

Reid Carrico went high and Collin Freeman went low which resulted in sending the Portsmouth Trojans out.
Carrico’s basket and Freeman’s steal gave the Ironton Fighting Tigers a thrilling 62-61 win over the Trojans in an Ohio Valley Conference game on Friday.
Carrico took a pass down low and scored with 24 seconds to play to give Ironton a 62-61 lead.
“The last play we did a good job of executing. We tried to have Milleson set a little back screen for Reid. We were looking for a switch but they didn’t switch and we got Reid free and he made a good baseline drive,” said Ironton coach P.J. Fitch.
“(Potrsmouth) shot it real well and we dodged a bullet.”
Portsmouth missed a shot and Ironton got the rebound and was fouled. The Fighting Tigers missed the one-and-one and Portsmouth got the rebound.
Using a timeout to set up the final shot, Portsmouth came up the floor quickly and Amare Johnson started to drive left of the foul line when Freeman stretched out as he dove and knocked the ball away across the time line and Ironton picked up the loose ball as time expired.
“Collin Freeman, I just can’t say enough positive things about the young man. He does everything I ask him to do,” said Fitch who noted Freeman held Trojans’ leading scorer Matthew Fraulini to 7 points.
The lead changed hands five times in the first quarter.
Gage Salyers made a layup and a foul shot to give Ironton a 10-8 lead. Jordan Grizzle hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Trent Milleson’s putback opened up an 18-10 lead.
Drew Roe scored to get the Trojans within 18-12 but Freeman’s layup at the buzzer put Ironton ahead 20-14.
Ironton opened up a 24-14 lead on baskets by Milleson and Grizzle to begin the second quarter.
But Donovan Carr hit a 3-pointer and Miles Shipp made two straight treys as Portsmouth got within 24-23.
Fraulini’s two foul shots gave Portsmouth a 28-26 lead.
The game was tied at 32 after a layup by Grizzle but Chris Duff hit a 3-pointer to give Portsmouth a 35-32 lead at the half.
Portsmouth hit 6-of-11 shots in the second quarter including 5-of-9 from 3-point range to spark its comeback.
The Trojans hot shooting continued in the second half.
Shipp hit two more 3-pointers that gave Portsmouth a 41-34 lead to start the second half.
A layup by Grizzle and two free throws by Carrico tied the game at 43.
But 3-pointers by Fraulini and Shipp gave the Trojans a 49-43 lead to end the quarter.
“We got out early but we can’t seem to put four quarters together,” said Fitch. “We went up 10 and then went down three at the half. We came out complacent in the third. The Shipp kid was just unbelievable tonight shooting 3’s. I’ve scouted them several times and he’ll hit one every once in awhile and he was hitting them three or four feet behind the line. But that’s the way it goes.”
Portsmouth got 4 points to start the fourth quarter and led 53-43 with 7:01 left to play.
A couple of baskets by Carrico and a pair of trifectas by Milleson got Ironton within 57-55.
“Trent hit some big shots and gave us a huge lift,” said Fitch.
A basket by Johnson gave Portsmouth a 61-57 lead but Milleson hit a 3-pointer and Ironton trailed 61-60 setting up the frantic finish.
“They stretched the lead out to 10 and we just clawed back and clawed back,” said Fitch.
Grizzle had a season-high 19 points, Milleson scored 15 points including 11 in the fourth quarter while Carrico had another double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Milleson had 9 rebounds and Trent Hacker 6 rebounds as Ironton dominated the boards 38-19.
Shipp had 27 points and hit a career-high five 3-pointers to lead the Trojans (5-7, 2-4). Carr added 12 points.
On Tuesday, Ironton host Fairland and Portsmouth host Coal Grove.
Portsmouth 14 21 14 12 = 61
Ironton 20 12 11 19 = 62
PORTSMOUTH (5-7, 2-4): Amare Johnson 1 0 0-0 2, Matthew Fraulini 1 1 2-2 7, Dariyonne Bryant 1 0 0-0 2, Dre Roe 4 0 0-1 8, Miles Shipp 5 5 2-2 27, Donovan Carr 3 2 0-0 12, Chris Duff 0 1 0-0 3, Jesse Dixon 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24-51 4-5 61. 3-pt goals: 9-20. Rebounds: 3-O, 16-D = 19 (Shipp 7). Team/deadball: 3. Assists: 4 (Carr 2). Steals: 6 (Fraulini 2, Roe 2). Turnovers: 10. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None.
IRONTON (4-4, 4-2): Gage Salyers 2 1 1-3 8, Trent Hacker 0 0 0-1 0, Jordan Grizzle 5 3 0-0 19, Reid Carrico 5 0 4-4 14, Collin Freeman 2 0 2-2 6, Trent Milleson 3 3 0-2 15, Caleb Hopper 0 0 0-0 0, Landen Wilson 0 0 0-0 0, Brayden Easterling 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24-51 7-12 62. 3-pt goals: 7-17. Rebounds: 14-O, 24-D = 38 (Carrico 10, Milleson 9, Hacker 6). Team/deadball rebounds: 2. Assists: 7 (Grizzle 2, Salyers 2). Steals: 6 (Salyers 2, Hacker 2). Turnovers: 16. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.