Emalovich’s 3-pointer lifts Pointers over Dragons

Published 10:37 pm Saturday, December 11, 2021

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

SOUTH POINT — Jordan Ermalovich is what Hollywood calls “a character actor,” playing a certain type role in each movie.

The South Point Pointers’ junior guard has the role of a point guard for his team and he has played that role well this season. But on Friday, he decided to try his hand as the leading man.

Ermalovich hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer that gave the Pointers a thrilling 48-45 win over the Fairland Dragons on Friday in a pivotal game in the Ohio Valley Conference.

“Ermalovich does a good job. He knows his role. He has to get the ball to our offensive threats. But he can shoot and he hit a big, clutch shot,” said Pointers’ coach Travis Wise.

With the game tied at 45, Wise said he wasn’t sure what defensive strategy the Dragons would use since the Pointers’ best offensive threats are Caleb Schneider and Mason Kazee.

“We were a little bit worried. Who was A.P. (Aiden Porter) going to guard? Was it Kazee? Was it Schneider? We worried if we could get to the basket with our dribble-drive,” said Wise.

“Nathan’s teams always guard. They’re always up in you.”

Dragons’ coach Nathan Speed said the Pointers have a good team and deserved to win, but he said his team has to take advantage of its scoring opportunities.

“I thought we played hard and I thought we played well defensively,” said Speed. “We crashed the boards but we missed too many opportunities. We missed a lot of putbacks, we missed a lot of layups, and we made some poor decisions in the second half.”

South Point is now 4-0 on the season and 2-0 in the conference. The Dragons are 3-1 and 1-1 in the league.

Speed said his team can’t dwell on one game and they had more work to do whether they won or lost.

“You just have to get better. If we had won tonight, we have to get better,” said Speed. “You work on your weaknesses and try to improve on your strengths. Right now, our kids are young and disappointed and we just have to focus on our next game.”

Ermalovich finished with 13 points, Schneider had 12 and Kazee 11. Schneider grabbed 6 rebounds, Kazee 5 and Xander Dornon 4.

Porter scored a game-high 26 points to go with 9 rebounds and 3 assists for the Dragons. Ethan Taylor had 8 rebounds.

“We tried to mix it up (on defense). We tried zone and they scored twice, so we stayed man,” said Wise.

“Our concern all night was how can we stop A.P. Our focus coming into this game was trying to get the ball out of his hands and into someone else’s hands. We didn’t know if we could keep them that low. If he gets going, and he did, so we couldn’t let the other ones go off.”

Porter scored 7 points in the first quarter as Fairland took a 9-8 lead. Jake Adams and Schneider hit 3-pointers.

Porter had a trey and scored 8 points in the second quarter as the lead went to 21-17 at the half.

The Pointers rallied to tie the game at 33 in the third quarter as Erikai Jackson scored 5 points, Kazze hit a 3-pointer and had 5 points and Schneider added 4.

Porter scored 6 points and J.D. Thacker hit a pair of 3-pointers for Fairland.

Taylor had a 3-pointer and Porter scored 5 points in the fourth quarter, but Ermalovich had 9 points including the game-winning triple.

On Tuesday, South Point goes to Gallipolis and Fairland will host Portsmouth

Fairland 9 12 12 12 = 45

South Point 8 9 16 15 = 48

FAIRLAND (3-1, 1-1): Will Davis 2-6 0-0 0-0 4, iden Porter 5-13, 2-6 10-13 26, Ethan Taylor 1-4 1-3 0-0 5, Zion Martin 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, J.D. Thacker 1-8 2-3 0-0 8, Chase Allen 1-3 0-3 0-0 2, Steeler Leep 0-2 0-0 0-2 0, Brycen Hunter 0-0 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 15-52 10-15 45. 3-pt goals: 5-16. Rebounds: 31 (Porter 9, Taylor 8, Davis 5). Assists: 7 (Porter 3, Allen 3). Steals: 3 (Davis 2). Turnovers: 5. Fouls: 10. Fouled out: None.

SOUTH POINT (4-0, 2-0): Caleb Schneider 3-7 2-6 0-0 12, Jake Adams 0-0 1-1 0-0 3, Erikai Jackson 3-4 0-3 1-2 7, Mason Kazee 3-6 1-4 2-2 11, Malik Pegram 0-2 0-0 0-0 0, Jordan Ermalovich 5-8 1-2 0-0 13, Xander Dornon 1-4 0-1 0-0 2. Totals: 20-32 3-4 48. 3-pt goals: 5-17. Rebounds: 22 (Schneider 6, Kazee 5, Dornon 4). Assists: 2. Turnovers: 7. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None.