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Short-handed Ironton tops Redmen, 48-33


Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Erickson Barnes hits one of his four 3-point goals during a 48-33 win over the Rock Hill Redmen on Wednesday. (Kent Sanborn/Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

PEDRO — Boy, this game looked like a couple of teams who haven’t played in two weeks.
Oh yeah, they haven’t.
With both teams locked down since Jan. 2 due to COVID issues, the Ironton Fighting Tigers shook off the rust a little faster than the Rock Hill Redmen to post 48-33 Ohio Valley Conference win on Wednesday.
Not only were the Fighting Tigers coming off a layoff, they missing Trent Hacker, Tayden Carpenter — both starters suffering injuries — and Terrance West who is one of the top players off the bench because of a college visit.
Ironton coach P.J. Fitch said the layoff and absence of three key players had the coaching staff leery of what could happen.
“We were concerned. Rock Hill has played some pretty good teams really close,” said Fitch.
“We were missing three key guys. But no excuses. They guys who came in stepped up. We were missing some offense but we played gritty defense. We were missing some guys but we played by committee.”
Hacker also leads Ironton in rebounding and is their top defender.
Will York helped fill the void with eight offensive rebounds to go with 8 points.
But the biggest factor for Ironton was Erickson Barnes who scored a game-high 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
“They have some size so rebounding was a concern. We kind of rebounded by committee,” said Fitch.
“Erickson Barnes had an outstanding game. Austin (Masters) has been working hard. He’s a very good defender, a very pesky defender.”
Owen Hankins hit three 3-pointers and scored 11 points for Rock Hill (0-7, 0-5) which showed its rust with 26 turnovers.
Rock Hill’s Brayden Malone added 7 points.
Barnes drained a pair of trifecta in the first quarter as Ironton took a 10-7 lead. Hankins hit a triple for the Redmen.
A layup by Caleb Hopper and a putback by Blake Porter gave Ironton a 21-11 lead midway through the second quarter.
Malone answered with a layup but a steal by Porter led to a pair of fouls shots by Masters and Jaxon Vance scored with 2:19 left in the half to push the lead to 25-13.
Jacob Schwab hit a layup just before the buzzer as Rock Hill got within 25-15 at the break.
Ironton was just 10-of-26 from the field in the first half.
Neither team put together much offense in the third quarter. A layup by Wilson with five seconds left gave the Fighting Tigers a 33-21 lead.
Layups by Barnes and York extended Ironton’s lead to 39-25. Hankins hit his third 3-pointer of the game to get Rock Hill within 39-28, but the Redmen could get no closer as Barnes hit a trey and Masters a layup for a 44-28 lead with 4:05 to play.
York followed up his own shot with 1:12 to play that made it 46-29 and basically sealed the outcome.
On Friday, Ironton host Gallipolis and Rock Hill entertains South Point.
Ironton 10 15 8 15 = 48
Rock Hill 7 8 6 12 = 33
IRONTON (3-2, 3-2): Landen Wilson 2 0 0-0 4, Aaron Masters 2 0 2-2 6, Caleb Hopper 3 0 0-2 6, Blake Porter 3 0 0-0 6, Erickson Barnes 1 4 0-0 14, Will York 4 0 0-2 8, C.J. Martin 0 0 0-0 0, Ethan White 0 0 0-0 0, Braxton Pringle 1 0 0-0 2, Jaxon Vance 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 17 4 2-6 45. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.
ROCK HILL (0-7, 0-5): Noah Doddridge 1 0 0-2 2, Owen Hankins 0 3 2-2 11, Caleb Murphy 2 0 0-0 4, Brayden Adams 0 0 0-0 0, Deven Long 1 0 2-3 4, Victory Day 0 0 1-2 1, Brayden Malone 3 0 1-2 7, Jacob Schwab 2 00-0 4, Lane Smith 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 9 3 6-11 33. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.