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Ironton outlasts Chesapeake in OT, 56-52


Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Caleb Hopper (20) takes a jump shot over the outstretched arm of Chesapeake Panthers’ Devon Bellomy (24) during Tuesday’s game. (Kent Sanborn of SouthernOhioSportsPhotos.com)


Chesapeake Panthers’ Jacob Lemley (right) battles Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Erickson Barnes for the basketball during Tuesday’s game. (Kent Sanborn of SouthernOhioSportsPhotos.com)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

Go West!
The Ironton Fighting Tigers went West on Tuesday as Terrence West came off the bench to spark a 56-52 overtime win over the Chesapeake Panthers in an Ohio Valley Conference game.
West scored 18 points including 13 points in the second quarter that provided a spark and helped Ironton stay in the game until they could get a lead.
“Terrence is a guy we’ve been telling him all along how good he is and how much he can help our team. I was really glad to see him play with that motor and passion tonight,” said Ironton coach P.J. Fitch.
Ironton was guilty of 20 turnovers, but the defense did force Chesapeake into 18 turnovers and the Fighting Tigers outrebounded the Panthers 39-25 including 14 offensive rebounds to just four for the Panthers.
“Defensively, we played an outstanding game. They are so quick that we did it with good, old-fashioned half-court defense, getting in the passing lanes and putting ball pressure on the right people at the right time,” said Fitch.
Trent Hacker had 9 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists before fouling out at the end of regulation for Ironton (2-0, 2-0) while Caleb Hopper also had 9 points and 4 rebounds before he fouled out only five seconds into overtime.
Chesapeake (3-1, 1-1) was led by Levi Blankenship with a game-high 25 points and he had 4 rebounds.
Devon Bellomy added 10 points while Nathan Cox had 8 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.
The game was tied four times in the first quarter. Ironton took an 11-8 lead on a 12-footer by Aaron Master but Nathan Cox made a layup and then Blankenship hit a 3-pointer, a layup and a 12-footer with four seconds on the clock for a 17-11 lead.
West took over as he scored 10 straight Ironton points that included a pair of 3-pointers and his steal and layup gave Ironton a 21-18 lead with 5:39 left in the half.
Two foul shots by Erickson Barnes and another steal and layup by West pushed the lead to 25-18.
The Panthers rallied with an 8-0 run capped by Blankenship’s layup with 1:24 to go in the half for a 26-25 lead.
A foul shot by West tied the game but a layup by the Panthers’ Travis Grim made it 28-26 at the break.
Ironton began to gradually pull away from the Panthers in the third quarter before the momentum changed.
When Landen Wilson made two foul shots with 1:49 left in the third quarter, Ironton had its biggest lead at 43-31.
But it was at this point that Ironton might have had some moments of déjà vu.
Last season, Ironton had a 20-point lead at halftime in a home game only to have the Panthers rally in the second half and win.
Devon Bellomy scored before the end of the quarter to start Chesapeake on a 14-0 run to give the Panthers a 45-43 lead with 1:41 left as Travis Grim sank two foul shots.
But West was fouled making a layup with 15 seconds to go in regulation and converted the three-point play to tie the game at 47.
“We just kept competing. We don’t have our basketball legs yet and we had to sprint back on defense because they are such a good transition team. We just grinded it out,” said Fitch.
Grimm made two foul shots to start the overtime but Tayden Carpenter hit two free throws to tie the game.
Wilson had a layup and Blankenship a free throw before a putback by West made it 53-50.
Blankenship had a steal and layup but Wilson hit both ends of a one-and-one for a 55-52 lead and 14 seconds left.
Each team missed two foul shots before Wilson hit the first of two with one second to play and iced the win
“It was great to see our younger kids come through. We had three key starters, three seniors, of which two fouled out and Erickson Barnes had his calves lock up on him where he had played so hard,” said Fitch.
On Friday, Chesapeake goes to Coal Grove and Ironton visits Fairland.
Chesapeake 17 11 5 14 5 = 52
Ironton 11 15 17 4 9 = 56
CHESAPEAKE (3-1, 1-1): Travis Grim 1 0 4-4 6, Nathan Cox 3 0 2-2 8, Levi Blankenship 6 3 4-9 25, Ben Bragg 0 0 0-0 0, Devon Bellomy 5 0 0-0 10, Caleb Schneider 0 0 2-4 2, Jacob Lemley 0 0 1-2 1. Totals: 17-42 13-21 52. 3-pt goals: 3-16. Rebounds: 4-O, 21-D = 25 (Cox 6, Blankenship 4). Team/deadball rebounds: 6. Assists: 6 (Cox 3). Steals: 8 (Grim 3, Bellomy 2). Turnovers: 18. Fouls: 19. Fouled out: None.
IRONTON (2-0, 2-0): Landen Wilson 1 0 5-6 7, Trent Hacker 4 0 1-4 9, Caleb Hopper 4 0 1-2 9, Erickson Barnes 0 1 4-4 7, Tayden Carpenter 1 0 2-6 4, Aaron Masters 1 0 0-0 2, Will York 0 0 0-0 0, Terrence West 4 2 2-3 18, Blake Porter 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-52 15-25 56. 3-pt goals: 3-18. Rebounds: 14-O, 25-D = 39 (Hacker 9, Barnes 8). Assists: 9 (Hacker 3, Carpenter 2, Masters 2). Steals: 13 (West 3, Carpenter 3, Masters 2). Turnovers: 20. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: Hacker (0:22 4th, Hopper 3:55 OT).