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Ironton loses another heartbreaker

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

The regular season was a case of “What ifs” for the Ironton Fighting Tigers.
The Fighting Tigers are wondering what the season would have been like had they not started a month late due to the state title game run in football and the number of close games that could have gone the other way.
One such game was Saturday as the Spring Valley Timberwolves held on to beat Ironton 59-58 when a last-second shot failed to connect.
Ironton (10-10) led most of the third quarter but trailed most of the fourth quarter with the exception of three ties and two lead changes including 52-51 when Reid Carrico hit a 15-footer.
The Fighting Tigers had a chance to win but Jordan Grizzle’s shot just before the buzzer hit the rim and bounced off.
The T-Wolves turned a 5-4 deficit in to a 16-5 lead with a 12-0 run that ended on a layup by Carrico and then a 3-pointer by Trent Milleson cut the deficit to 16-10.
A layup by C.J. Meredith gave the T-Wolves an 18-10 first quarter lead.
Ironton scored 11 unanswered points to start the second quarter that was capped by Milleson’s third 3-pointer of the half and it was 21-18.
Spring Valley (11-9) came back to take a 24-21 lead only to have Milleson sink two fouls shots and Gage Salyers and Grizzle knocking down 3-pointers for a 29-24 lead with 2:48 left in the half.
The T-Wolves used a short jumper by Brock Booth to get within 31-30 at the break.
Milleson’s 3-pointer and Grizzle’s 3-point play put Ironton up 37-30 to start the second half. But the T-Wolves outscored Ironton 6-2 to close the quarter and take a 43-41 lead.
Milleson celebrated senior day with a career-high 23 points to go with 7 rebounds. Salyers and Grizzle had 11 points each while Carrico had 10 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists.
Meredith and Booth scored 16 points each while Corbin Page added 10 to pace the T-Wolves.
Ironton coach P.J. Fitch started seniors Christian Wright, Brayden Easterling, Grizzle, Freeman and Salyers. The other senior and usual starter Milleson entered the game later along with junior starting center Carrico.
“All of them are just tough kids. I’ve talked about how tough Grizz is and how he has done whatever we’ve asked of him. I can’t say enough about Collin and his defense. Gage hasn’t played for a while and he came out to play and scored 10 points a game and contributed greatly,” said Fitch.
“There were a lot of game we wouldn’t have won without Trent. Brayden is a great bowler but he’s also played for us and has helped. Christian Wright was just a great kid who wanted to be part of the program and help anyway he could and you need those kinds of kids.”
UP NEXT: Ironton plays Wellston at 6:15 on Wednesday at Waverly in the sectional tournament.
Spring Valley 18 12 13 16 = 59
Ironton 10 21 10 17 = 58
SPRING VALLEY (11-9): Chase Maynard 3 0 1-3 7, Benjamin Turner 1 0 0-0 2, Brock Booth 3 2 4-4 16, Jace Caldwell 0 0 0-0 0, C.J. Meredith 5 1 3-3 16, Reece Stevenson 1 0 0-0 2, David Livingston 3 0 0-0 6, Corbin Page 3 0 4-5 10. Totals: 22-39 12-15 59. 3-pt goals: 3-10. Rebounds: 6-O, 17-D = 23 (Meredith 8). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 4 (Meredith 2). Steals: 8 (Meredith 3). Turnovers: 15. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None.
IRONTON (10-10): Gage Salyers 4 1 0-2 11, Jordan Grizzle 1 2 3-4 11, Collins Freeman 0 0 0-0 0, Brayden Easterling 0 0 0-0 0, Christian Wright 0 0 0-0 0, Trent Milleson 3 4 5-5 23, Reid Carrico 4 0 2-2 10, Landen Wilson 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-47 11-17 58. 3-pt goals: 7-21. Rebounds: 10-O, 25-D = 35 (Milleson 7, Carrico 7, Salyers 4). Team/deadball rebounds: 2. Assists: 9 (Carrico 3, Hacker 2, Salyers 2). Steals: 4 (Salyers 2). Turnovers: 12. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None.