Ironton’s late comeback stuns Gallipolis in OT

Published 10:54 pm Saturday, January 30, 2021

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

GALLIPOLIS — The Ironton Fighting Tigers went from Charmin to a Chevy Ram truck.
Ironton’s first half performance on Saturday was soft like the bathroom tissue, but the second half was Ram tough as the Fighting Tigers rallied to tie the game in the fourth quarter and then beat the Gallipolis Blue Devils 50-49 in overtime of an Ohio Valley Conference game.
“We played way too soft,” said Ironton coach P.J. Fitch after his team found itself trailing by 16 points at halftime.
“We were tired from the night before and we had multiple guys banged up who didn’t play We got on them at halftime. The first half was miserable and embarrassing. The second half we played Ironton basketball.”
Ironton (5-4, 5-4) shot just 4-of-21 from the field in the first half and fell behind 27-11 at the half. But the Fighting Tigers came out focused an aggressive in the second half as they forced 12 second half turnovers.
“We said the only way we win is to play our style. We have to play tough and play aggressive and turn people over. We had no effort on defense in the first half. But in the second half we showed our toughness. When we played focused and gritty on defense, we can compete with really good teams. We’ve got to do things a certain way to win,” said Fitch.
Down 28-15, Erickson Barnes hi a 19-footer, Caleb Hopper tipped in a missed shots and Aaron Masters drained a trey and Ironton cut the deficit to 28-22.
Isaac Clary had a putback for Gallipolis but a steal by Landen Wilson who fed Masters for another 3-pointer and then a layup by Wilson made it 30-26.
Gallipolis got a layup by Carson Call to begin the fourth quarter and put the Blue Devils up 36-28.
But Ironton kept chipping away.
Jaxon Vance and Will York each sank free throws, Wilson turned a steal into a layup, Blake Porter hit a 10-footer and Wilson sank two free throws and Ironton was down 44-42.
A layup by Hopper with 38 seconds left tied the game and sent it into overtime.
Wilson hit the second of two foul shots to start the overtime and Ironton had its first lead of the game. Clary made to foul shots to put Gallipolis back on top but Vance knocked down a 3-pointer and Ironton was up 48-46.
“Jaxon is one of our best shooters. If he’s a got a catch and release shot, we tell him to step into it,” said Fitch. “But I can’t say enough about our kids. We were shorthanded without Trent (Hacker) and Tayden (Carpenter). We showed our toughness.”
Brody Fellure hit a 14-footer as Gallipolis tied the game at 49. Ironton then held the ball for the final shot and Wilson was fouled driving for a layup with 2.8 seconds left.
Wilson missed the first shot but made the second for a 50-49 lead.
The Blue Devils’ Cooper Davis took a halfcourt shot at the buzzer that hit off the front of the rim.
Wilson finished with 17 points and Masters had 12 points to pace Ironton.
Clary had 20 points and 15 rebounds and Call added 11 points for Gallipolis (6-7, 4-6).
Ironton hosts Coal Grove on Tuesday.
Ironton 4 7 17 16 6 = 50
Gallipolis 13 14 9 8 5 = 49
IRONTON (5-4, 5-4): Aaron Masters 2 2 2-2 12, Caleb Hopper 2 0 1-2 5, Erickson Barnes 1 1 0-0 5, Will York 0 0 3-6 3, Blake Porter 2 0 0-0 4, Landen Wilson 5 0 7-11 17, C.J. Martin 0 0 0-0 0, Ethan White 0 0 0-0 0, Braxton Pringle 0 0 0-0 0, Jaxon Vance 0 1 1-2 4. Totals: 16-47 14-25 50. 3-pt goals: 4-16. Rebounds: 11-O, 14-D = 25 (Barnes 6, Hopper 4, Porter 4) Assists: 6 (Porter 2, Wilson 2). Steals: 11 (Barnes 3, Porter 3). Turnovers: 7. Fouls: 21. Fouled out: Porter (4th), Hopper (OT).
GALLIPOLIS (6-7, 4-6): Cooper Davis 1 0 0-1 2, Kenyon Franklin 2 1 0-1 7, Brody Fellure 1 1 2-2 7, Carson Call 4 0 3-6 11, Isaac Clary 7 0 6-8 20, Drake Phillips 0 0 2-2 2, Trent Saunders 0 0 0-0 0, Connor Walter 0 0 0-0 0. 17-36 13-20 49. 3-pt. goals: 2-7. Rebounds: 31 (Clary 15). Turnovers: 17. Fouls: 22. Fouled out: Clary (OT).