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Ironton’s defensive intensity key to win over Elliott County

Jim Walker

Elliott County likes to put their opponents to sleep and then attack, so the Ironton Fighting Tigers used intensity as their No-Doze.
The Lions couldn’t get Ironton to sleep on their offense as the Fighting Tigers shut down Elliott County 42-29 in the Tackett Body Shop Shootout on Saturday.
“We had good intensity and we did a good job following the scouting report and the defensive plan. They run a very slow, methodical system. If you let them run their stuff, they’ll run a couple of minutes off the clock before they shoot the ball,” said Ironton coach P.J. Fitch.
The Lions shot only 25.7 percent as they took just 35 shots and Ironton’s tough defense allowed just nine field goals including 0-for-8 from 3-point range.
Jordan Grizzle scored 15 points to lead a balanced Ironton offense. Gage Salyers had 8 points and 6 rebounds, Trent Milleson got 7 points and Reid Carrico had 5 rebounds as he sat much of the game in foul trouble.
“(Grizzle) shot the ball really well, got some good looks. I tell him all the time I feel sorry for him because he’s really a (shooting guard) but we have to play him at (the point) out of necessity. He doesn’t complain. He’s just a real, tough, gritty kid who does what we ask of him,” said Fitch.
Elliott County (6-10) was led by Bryson Dickerson and Hunter Lyons with 8 points each. Dickerson had 6 rebounds.
Ironton’s defense was evident from the start by holding the Lions scoreless in the first quarter.
Salyers hit a 3-pointer to start the game and he sank two foul shots with three seconds on the clock and it was 9-0.
“We did a good job the first quarter. We took all their options and looks away. We kind of let up in the second quarter and didn’t get enough pressure and had some foul trouble and that kind of slowed our defensive rotations. Overall, we played pretty solid defensively throughout the game,” said Fitch.
Brayden Easterling’ putback gave Ironton a 13-0 lead to begin the second quarter and a short runner by Trent Hacker put the lead at 15-2.
Elliott County got within 15-8 before a layup by Collin Freeman off a pass from Grizzle and a trifecta by Milleson put the lead at 20-9 at the half.
Grizzle and Salyers had 3-pointers early in the third quarter that made it 26-11. Lyons hit a 12-footer to cut the deficit to 26-14.
But a 3-poiner by Easterling to end the quarter put Ironton ahead 30-17.
Milleson had a putback and Grizzle a driving layup as Ironton went up 36-21 early in the fourth quarter.
Grizzle’s trey midway through the quarter gave Ironton its biggest lead at 39-23.
Ironton visits Portsmouth on Friday.
Elliott Co. 0 9 8 12 = 29
Ironton 11 9 10 12 = 42
ELLIOTT COUNTY (6-10): Kaden Buck 0 0 0-0 0, Gavin Whitt 1 0 1-2 3, Taylor Whitley 1 0 3-3 5, Hunter Lyons 4 0 0-1 8, Bryson Dickerson 2 0 4-6 8, Kole Whitley 1 0 3-6 5, Eli Griffith 0 0 0-0 0, Gatlin Griffith 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 9-35 11-18 29. 3-pt goals: 0-8. Rebounds: 11-O, 12-D = 23 (Dickerson 6, K. Whitley 4). Team/deadball rebounds: 7. Assists: 2. Steals 6. Turnovers: 15. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.
IRONTON (9-7): Gage Salyers 0 2 2-2 8, Trent Hacker 1 0 1-2 3, Jordan Grizzle 2 2 5-7 15, Reid Carrico 1 0 0-0 2, Collin Freeman 1 0 0-0 2, Trent Milleson 2 1 0-0 7, Landen Wilson 0 0 0-0 0, Brayden Easterling 1 1 0-0 5. Totals: 14-33 8-11 42. 3-pt goals: 6-15. Rebounds: 8-O, 19-D = 27 (Salyers 6, Carrico 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 5. Assists: 4. Steals: 11 (Hacker 3, Carrico 2, Grizzle 2). Turnovers: 16. Fouls: 18. Fouled out; None.