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District tourney has OVC flavor

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

ATHENS — It is the Division 3 district semifinals, but it might as well be the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.
Four teams from the OVC will be playing Sunday at Ohio University in the district semifinals and two teams will play each other for the third time.
The first game has the league champion Fairland Dragons (20-2) going against the South Point Pointers (13-10).
The second game has the Chesapeake Panthers (19-3) going against the Wheelersburg Pirates (22-2).
Zane Trace (20-3) and Adena (16-8) from the Scioto Valley Conference meet at 5:30 followed by the Ironton Fighting Tigers (12-10) against the Eastern Brown Warriors (22-1).
The Ironton-Eastern game could be the most intriguing. Eastern Brown is a big favorite but Ironton has won at Wheelersburg and had big leads against Fairland and Chesapeake before losing in the fourth quarter.
The Fighting Tigers also played at Zane Trace the night after going to Portsmouth and took the Pioneers down to the wire before losing 54-50.
Eastern Brown is the No. 3 seed in the district and the Warriors boast the best record in the district.
The starting five has scoring balance led by 6-foot-2 senior and four-year letterman Titus Burns with 12.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.3 steals.
A three-year letterman, 6-3 junior Colton Vaughn averages 11 points, 10 rebounds and 1.4 blocks a game while 6-4 sophomore and two-year letterman Trent Hundley averages 9.5 points and 4.2 rebounds.
A couple of two-year lettermen are the guards with 5-10 junior Ryan Boone and 6-foot sophomore Luke Garrett who are the team’s top 3-point shooters.
Boone averages 11.4 points, 1.7 assists and shoots 38 percent from the 3-point line. Garrett averages 11.9 points and has made 45 percent from the 3-point range.
Ironton is led by 6-4 junior center Reid Carrico with 13.6 and 8.0 rebounds a game while 5-10 senior guard Jordan Grizzle averages 10.4 points and 2.5 assists.
The Fighting Tigers offense is balanced as well with 6-1 senior Gage Salyers averaging 9.2 points and 6-2 senior Trent Milleson 8.7 points and 4.5 rebounds.
Fairland has a balanced offense led by Clayton Thomas with 15.5 points a game, Aiden Porter at 15.4 points a game and Jacob Polcyn 11 per game.
Polcyn leads the team with 8.0 rebounds per contest, Porter had 4.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists while Thomas had 5.0 assists.
South Point is led by Chance Gunther with 14.9 points a game. Austin Webb is the team leader in scoring but has been sidelined due to an appendicitis. He is averaging 21.1 points a game, 7.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks a game.
Chesapeake is led by 5-10 sophomore Levi Blankenship with 15.6 points a game while 5-10 junior Trent Dearth averages 9.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.4 assist and 4.2 steals.
Wheelersburg’s top threats are 6-3 junior J.J. Truitt at 15.3 points a game and 6-foot junior Matt Miller with 12 points.
The district finals are Friday with the Fairland-South Point winner facing the Chesapeake-Wheelersburg winner at 6:15 p.m. followed by the Ironton-Eastern winner playing the Zane Trace-Adena winner at 8:15.