• 32°

Strong 2nd half helps Ironton ground Rockets, 47-21

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Trent Milleson takes aim and hits a shot inside in a 47-21 rout of Wellston in the Division 3 sectional tournament on Wednesday. (Kent Sanborn/Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

WAVERLY — There was a report that Coach P.J. Fitch asked for Charlie’s Tire’s portable air pump at halftime.
Well, Fitch’s halftime request probably wasn’t that docile, but he certainly got things pumped back up in the second half as the Ironton Fighting Tigers rolled past the Wellston Golden Rockets 47-21 in the Division 3 sectional tournament on Wednesday.
Ironton led just 13-10 at the half before coming back to outscore the Rockets 34-11 in the second half and advance to Saturday’s sectional finals.
“I don’t think I can make myself watch the first half (film). We came out flat. You take half a quarter or a quarter off it is liable to send you home,” said Ironton coach P.J. Fitch.
“We didn’t come out with any fire and they are long and they laid in an odd 1-3-1 where they played the passing lanes. We were ready for it and we tried to get guys in the right spots, but we weren’t getting in the right spots. We didn’t score to get in our press and then in the second half the ball went in the bucket a couple of times and once we got in our press we were fine.”
Ironton (11-10) shot a dismal 5-of-21 from the field in the first half for 23.8 percent and made only 1-of-8 shots from behind the arc.
“We were shooting way too many 3-point shots. We’re not a 3-point shot first team, not without the ball getting in a touch in the paint first. We took bad shots, we weren’t crashing the boards,” said Fitch,
“A very poor defensive effort the first half. The first half, not very pleased at all. The second half was pretty solid D.”
Wellston (6-17) shot just 8-for-40 from the field and failed to connect on 14 3-point attempts. The Rockets made only four field goals in each half.
“We got out and ran (in the second half) which let us set our defense. We did do a good job contesting. They take a lot of 3s. We did a good job boxing out and limiting them to just one shot,” said Fitch.
Josh Bodey scored to start the game and gave Wellston its only lead at 2-0. After Gage Salyers buried a 3-pointer for Ironton, Bodey made a foul shot to tie the game only to have Salyers sink a free throw and five Ironton the lead for good.
Ironton led 8-7 after the first quarter and 13-10 at the half.
But a layup by Reid Carrico, a foul shot by Trent Hacker, a layup by Jordan Grizzle, a trifecta by Salyers and layups by Hacker and Carrico completed a 12-1 run and the Fighting Tigers led 25-11.
Grizzle’s layup off a pass from Carrico made it 27-13 before Bodey scored and it was 27-15 to end the quarter.
Ironton didn’t let up. The Fighting Tigers built a 42-17 lead following baskets by Trent Milleson and Grizzle, Salyers’ 3-point play and Grizzle’s steal and layup sent the starters to the bench.
Salyers had 11 points to lead all scorers and also had 6 rebounds.
UP NEXT: Ironton plays Oak Hill at 8:30 p.m. Saturday in Jackson.
Wellston 7 3 5 6 = 21
Ironton 8 5 14 20 = 47
WELLSTON (6-17): Cyan Ervin 1 0 3-4 5, R.J. Kemp 1 0 0-0 2, Josh Bodey 4 0 1-2 9, Rylan Molihan 1 0 0-0 2, Evan Brown 0 0 1-2 1, Hunter Smith 0 0 0-0 0, Jordan Carey 0 0 0-0, Jon Garvin 1 0 0-0 2, Easton Riley 0 0 0-0 0, Gunner Harmon 0 0 0-0 0, Chase Ingalls 0 0 0-0 0, Zane Ervin 0 0 0-0 0, David McClellan 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 8-40 5-8 21. 3-pt goals: 0-14. Rebounds: 10-O, 13-D = 23 (Bodey 5, Brown 4, C. Ervin 4). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 3 (Kemp 2). Steals: 11 (Kemp 4). Turnovers: 16. Fouls: 8. Fouled out: None.
IRONTON (11-10): Gage Salyers 1 2 3-5 11, Jordan Grizzel 4 0 0-0 8, Reid Carrico 3 0 1-1 7, Collin Freeman 1 0 0-0 2, Trent Milleson 2 0 0-0 4, Trent Hacker 3 0 1-2 7, Brayden Easterling 0 2 0-0 6, Landen Wilson 0 0 0-0 0, Christian Wright 0 0 0-0 0, Tayden Carpenter 1 0 0-0 2, Kyle Howell 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-45 5-8 47. 3-pt goals: 4-14. Rebounds: 10-O, 23-D = 33 (Salyers 6, Grizzle 5, Carrico 5, Freeman 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 5. Assists: 7 (Carrico 2, Salyers 2). Steals: 12 (Grizzle 4, Hacker 2, Salyers 2, Freeman 2). Turnovers: 16. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None.