Ironton uses miracle comeback to beat Trojans

Published 12:59 am Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Ironton Fightng Tigers’ Braden Schreck scores two of his 29 points as Portsmouth’s Luke Stine goes for the block. Ironton rallied from 16 points down to beat the Trojans 77-71 in overtime Tuesday. (Photo by Tim Gearhart)

By Jim Walker

About halfway through the fourth quarter, Portsmouth held a 59-43 lead and the game appeared to be a foregone conclusion.

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But somebody forgot to tell the Ironton Fighting Tigers.

Ironton battled back to tie the game at 66 and force overtime where the Fighting Tigers beat the Trojans 77-71 in an Ohio Valley Conference game on Tuesday.

“We did not have our best effort today. We didn’t have our best defensive effort. You could tell we were lethargic,” said Ironton coach Chris Barnes.

“Landen (Wilson) is hurting from where (Gallipolis center Isaac) Clary fell on him. Shaun Terry is basically playing with one hand. But Braden (Schreck) came up huge. Ethan (White) came up huge. The fight that we showed and not quitting is the best comeback I’ve ever been a part of. That’s the Fighting Tiger. That’s true toughness and heart.”

Deandre Berry gave Portsmouth a quick 2-0 lead but Ironton’s Ethan White scored 7 straight points including a 3-pointer.

The lead was 15-11 on a 3-point play by White but the Trojans got 3 points to trail 15-14 at the end of the quarter.

Donovan Breech hit a 3-pointer to start the second half and Portsmouth went up 17-15.

Ironton (6-3, 4-1) came back to tie the game at 19-all on a trifecta by Landen Wilson only to have Tyler Duncan hit a 3-pointer as the Trojans took the lead and stayed ahead as they were up 29-25 at the half.

The Trojans then took over late in the third quarter as they opened up a 45-34 lead on a layup by Devon Lattimore and they made it 51-38 on a layup by Berry to end the quarter.

Two free throws by Kenny Sanderlin gave Portsmouth a 55-43 lead and a pair of technical fouls on the Ironton bench led to 4 free throws and it was 59-45.

But that’s when Ironton did a gut check and began its comeback.

“There’s nothing I can do. There’s no way we’re getting back into the game if we don’t just get grit and tough and figure it out. They did it. Most teams would have quit. We didn’t have it today. We had every right to pack it in. But that’s not what Fighting Tigers do,” said Barnes.

“Amari Felder had 4 points but he had three or four of the biggest steals of the season. He did that in two of our other overtime games. He’s a fantastic defensive player.”

Schreck scored 8 points including a layup after a Felder steal. After a travel on Portsmouth, White made a layup with 1:05 left to tie the game.

Portsmouth missed a shot but White grabbed the rebound and the game added 4 more minutes to the scoreboard.

A layup by Lincoln Barnes and a steal by Felder that led to a free throw by Schreck made it 70-66. Felder then had a steal and layup for a 72-66 lead.

Schreck was 3-of-4 at the line over the final 38 seconds and Ironton had completed a comeback win that had seemed nearly impossible.

Schreck led all scorers with 29 points to go with 8 rebounds. White got a double-double with 18 points and 13 boards and Barnes scored a career-high 11 points.

Portsmouth (4-7, 2-5) had 4 players in double figures as Lattimore scored 24 points, Berry 17 and Duncan and Sanderlin got 11 each.

Portsmouth    14 15 22 15 5 = 71

Ironton     15 10 13 28 11 = 77

PORTSMOUTH (4-7, 2-5): Devon Lattimore 8 0 8-14 24, Tyler Duncan 0 3 2-2 11, Kenny Sanderlin 3 0 5- 11, Noah Livingston 0 0 0-0 0, Deandre Berry 4 2 3-4 17, Donovan Bleech 0 1 0-0 3, Isaiah Lewis 0 0 0-0 0, Levaughn Cobb 0 0 0-0 0, Luke Stine 2 0 1-1 5. Totals: 23 19-27 71. 3-pt goals: 6-14. Rebounds: 4-O, 25-D = 29. Team/deadball fouls: 5. Assists: 13. Steals: 6. Turnovers: 25. Fouls: 25. Fouled out: Livingston (4:54 4th), Sanderlin (2:10 4th).

IRONTON (6-3, 4-1): Lincoln Barnes 2 0 6-9 10, Shaun Terry 1 2 0-0 8, Landon Wilson 0 1 1-2 4, Braden Schreck 10 0 9-15 29, Ethan White 7 1 1-2 18, Amari Felder 1 0 2-2 4, Tayden Carpenter 0 1 1-2 4, Bryce Markins 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 26-59 20-32 77. 3-pt goals: 5-19. Rebounds: 11-O, 21-D = 32 (13, Schreck 8). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 19 (Barnes, 5, Terry 5, Schreck 3, Wilson 3). Steals: 14 (White 4, Felder 4, Schreck 2, Carpenter 2). Turnovers: 11. Fouls: 19. Fouled out: Wilson (3:59 4th).