Barnes fuels Ironton win over Panthers

Published 11:47 pm Friday, January 29, 2021



Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Erickson Barnes (22) goes high in the air to get a rebound during Friday’s Ohio Valley Conference game against the Chesapeake Panthers. Barnes scored 20 points in a 49-41 win. (Kent Sanborn/Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Chance Short

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CHESAPEAKE — Forget a PB&J snack. The Ironton Fighting Tigers prefer to serve up some PB&B.
That’s “P” as in points, “B” as in boards and “B” as in Barnes following Erickson Barnes’ 20 points — he hit a season-high six 3-point goals — and 11 rebound performance to help the banged-up Fighting Tigers to a 49-41 Ohio Valley Conference win over the Chesapeake Panthers on Friday.
“I can’t say enough about Erickson Barnes. Everyone talks about the 3s, but he had 11 rebounds. If Erickson doesn’t do that, we don’t win the game,” said Ironton coach P.J. Fitch.
Ironton (4-4, 4-4) came into the game uncertain how much or even if Trent Hacker, Caleb Hopper and Landen Wilson would play. All three were suffering from injuries but played and made some major contributions, especially Hacker who had a season-high 18 points.
“I didn’t think we would get the minutes we did from those guys. Our kids are just tough. They played with guts,” said Fitch.
That toughness came in clutch in the fourth quarter after a 9-2 run that put the Panthers ahead 40-39. The run was sparked by a triple that beat the buzzer by Danny Maynard at the end of the third quarter. Levi Blankenship opened the final quarter with the next two 3-pointers to steal the lead.
The Fighting Tigers then went on a 10-1 run following a timeout to secure the victory. Hacker, Barnes, and Hopper all combined for 8 of those 10 points down the stretch.
“I wasn’t sure how many minutes Trent Hacker would give us and he had a great game. If there’s a better athlete in Southern Ohio, I want to see him. I can’t say enough about Hopper’s effort. He was going in and out all night. Same thing with Landen Wilson. It took a while for him to get loose,” added Fitch.
Hacker played well recording 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists as he picked apart the Panther zone defense from the high post. He assisted on 3 of the 4 made 3-pointers by Barnes in the first quarter. The senior forward knocked down 5 of his 6 triples in the first half to ignite the Fighting Tigers.
Chesapeake (6-7, 3-6) hung around for the majority of the game and led the way through most of the first half. Caleb Schneider recorded 12 points in the first half leading the Panthers to a 27-26 advantage at the break.
The freshman found himself in foul trouble however, and would go on to foul out in the beginning of the fourth quarter after sitting most of the third. He was held scoreless on just two shot attempts in the second half.
Blankenship finished with a game high 13 points for Chesapeake and added 3 rebounds and 3 assists in the loss.
On Saturday, Ironton visits Gallia Academy at 7:30 p.m. and Chesapeake hosts Rock Hill with a 1:30 varsity tip-off.
(Jim Walker contributed to this story.)
Ironton 16 10 13 10 = 49
Chesapeake 17 10 7 7 = 41
IRONTON (4-4, 4-4): Landen Wilson 1 0 0-0 2, Trent Hacker 8 0 2-5 18, Aaron Master 0 0 0-0 0, Caleb Hopper 2 0 1-2 5, Blake Porter 1 00 -0 2, Erickson Barnes 0 6 2-2 20, Will York 1 0 0-0 2, Jaxon Vance 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13 6 5-9 49. Rebounds: 29 (Barnes 11, Hacker 6). Assists: 12 (Hacker 6, Wilson 4). Turnovers: 14. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None.
CHESAPEAKE (6-7, 3-6): Caleb Schneider 2 2 2-4 12, Nathan Cox 2 0 0-0 4, Levi Blankenship 2 2 3-4 13, Donnie Maynard 0 1 0-0 3, Ben Bragg 3 0 0-0 6, Devon Bellomy 0 0 2-2 2, Jacob Lemley 0 0 1-2 1. Totals: 9 5 8-12 41. Rebounds: 17 (Schneider 5). Assists: 10 (Cox 4). Fouls: 13. Fouled out: Schneider.