Ironton goes through check list to beat Pirates

Published 2:20 am Sunday, January 22, 2023

Ironton Fighting Tigers Shaun Terry is sandwiched between two Wheelersburg players as he gets off a shot inside. Ironton beat the Pirates 55-48 on Saturday. (Photo by Tim Gearhart)


Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Lincoln Barnes (0) tries to muscle a shot against a pair of Wheelersburg defenders as he looks to try and score inside. Ironton won 55-48. (Photo by Tim Gearhart)

By Jim Walker

Email newsletter signup

When looking at their cheek list, the Ironton Fighting Tigers marked 2-of-3 boxes.

Well, make that 3-of-4.

Ironton did 2 things on their list they needed to do and it proved to be enough to check off a third thing as they beat the Wheelersburg Pirates 55-48 on Saturday.

Ironton converted 13-of-16 free throws including 13-of-15 in the fourth quarter and they held a 30-25 rebound advantage against the taller Pirates.

“I told them (after the game) the things we had to improve on our free throw shooting, late game fouls and rebounding,” said Ironton coach Chris Barnes.

“We rebounded, we had our best free throwing shooting game of the year but we still committed some dumb fouls at the end. But you’ve got to live with it. We’re young.”

Ironton (9-4) was shooting less than 60 percent as a team from the foul line but clutched up in the fourth quarter when they built a 12-point lead and forced the Pirates to foul.

Ironton was up 43-31 with 4:38 to pay after Lincoln Barnes sank 2 free throws.

The Pirates then got a 3-point play from Jackson Schwamburger, a 10-footer by Connor Estep and 2 free throws by Braylan Rucker cut the spread to 45-38.

That’s when Ironton starts going to the foul line and cashing in on their free throw shooting.

Braden Schreck was 5-of-6, Landen Wilson 3-of-4 and Shaun Terry 3-of-3. It was 2 makes by Schreck with 1:16 left that pushed the lead to 50-41. Estep and Rucker each scored to make it 50-45 but Wilson hit 2 free throws and then had a layup after Estep hit a 3-pointer and it was 54-48 with 15 seconds left.

“At the end, it was us just playing smart and making free throws,” said Barnes. “We are playing as hard as can play. To win on back-to-back nights, I’m proud of them.”

Wheelersburg (9-5) led 9-7 after the first quarter. Ironton scored 6 straight points to take the lead for good starting the second quarter.

A 10-footer by Terry gave Ironton a 22-12 lead but Rucker scored before the half and it was 22-14.

Barnes said the pace of the game started slow before Ironton was able to speed up the Pirates.

“A little bit of it was us coming out a little tired from yesterday and they didn’t have a game. It’s on us and it takes our energy to speed it up. We had a spurt there that got us a 10-point lead,” said Barnes.

A 12-footer by Schreck and a trifecta by Wilson put Ironton up 33-21 in the third quarter.

The Pirates got within 33-25 but Ethan White drained a 3-pointer just before the buzzer and the lead was 36-25.

Schreck led 4 Ironton players in double figures. Terry, Wilson and White all had 10 points each.

Estep scored 12 and Rucker 10 for the Pirates.

Ironton will host Chesapeake in a league game on Tuesday before going to league-leading South Point on Friday.

“We have to win Tuesday or Friday doesn’t mean anything. This is an important week,” said Barnes.

Wheelersburg   9 5 11 23 = 48

Ironton             7 15 14 19 = 55

WHEELERSBURG (9-4): Connor Estep 3 2 0-0 12, Noel Wright 0 1 0-2 3, Jackson Schwamburger 1 1 1-1 6, Kaden Johnson 2 0 0-0 4, Caleb Arthur 1 1 1-2 6, Braylon Rucker 4 0 2-3 10, Xander Mowery 0 0 0-0 0, Kenyon Evans 1 0 3-5 5, Logan Adkins 0 0 0-0 0, Zavier Stanley 0 0 2-4 2. Totals: 17-41 9-17 48. 3-pt goals: 5-16. Rebounds: 7-O, 18-D = 25 (Wright 8). Assists: 5. Steals: 3. Turnovers: 15. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: Johnson (6:22 4th), Rucker (0:42 4th).

IRONTON (8-4): Lincoln Barnes 1 0 2-2 4, Shaun Terry 2 1 3-3 10, Landen Wilson 2 1 3-4 10, Braden Schreck 7 0 5-7 19, Ethan White 2 2 0-0 10, Tayden Carpenter1 0 0-0 2, Tyler Roach 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-49 13-16 55. 3-pt goals: 4-16. Rebounds: 11-O, 19-D = 30 (Terry 8, White 7, Schreck 4). Team/deadbal rebounds: 3. Assists: 12 (Wilson 6, Terry 2). Steals: 7 (Barnes 3, Wilson 2, Terry 2). Blocks: 1 (White). Turnovers: 7. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: None.