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Strong 2nd half sparks Ironton

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

 

GALLIPOLIS — What a difference a half makes.

Coming off a tough 3-point loss on Friday, the Ironton Fighting Tigers were on the road and feeling sluggish.

After leading just 28-23 at the half, Ironton turned up the defense and dominated in the second half en route to a 63-35 win over the Gallipolis Blue Devils on Tuesday.

The Fighting Tigers (8-1) forced Gallipolis into 27 turnovers with eight coming over the first five minutes of the second half as they blew the game wide-open.

“I am happy with our defense in the second half but not the first half. We guarded them in the full-court, not just the half-court,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.

Trey Fletcher led Ironton with 20 points to go with 6 rebounds. Trevor White came off the bench to score 11 points and grab 5 rebounds while Aaron Stephens led the team with 7 rebounds.

Leading scorer Zac Carter played but did not score. However, he had 4 assists and 4 steals.

“We’re just trying to get better at what’s being offered at us but at the same time don’t let people take things away from us that we want to do,” said LaFon.

“It does make you feel good when your leading scorer doesn’t score and you can still do well offensively.”

Gallipolis led on three different occasions in the first quarter including 12-10 at the end of the quarter.

Ironton scored 9 unanswered points to start the second quarter to take the lead for good and a 3-pointer by Tanner Dutey opened up a 28-23 halftime lead.

A layup by Fletcher and a trifecta by Dutey started and ended a 12-0 run to begin the second half and it was 40-23. The Blue Devils finally scored on a put-backby Cale Craft at the 2:51 mark.

The closest Gallipolis got the rest of the game came when Justin Bailey scored to start the fourth quarter and make it 44-31.

But Josh Glover had a basket and Nolan Johnson hit a free throw and made a layup at the 5:30 mark to open up a 49-31 cushion.

Nick Saunders hit four 3-pointers — all in the first half — and scored 12 points while Bailey also had 12 points along with 12 rebounds to lead the Blue Devils (3-7).

Ironton plays at Ashland, Ky., on Saturday.

Ironton 10 18 16 19 = 63

Gallipolis 12 11 6 6 = 35

IRONTON (8-1): Zac Carter 0 0 0-0 0, Trey Fletcher 9 0 2-5 20, Nolan Johnson 2 0 1-2 5, Dion Brown 3 0 0-0 6, Josh Glover 3 0 1-3 7, Tanner Dutey 0 2 2-2 8, Aaron Stephens 3 0 0-1 6, Trevor White 4 0 3-5 11. Totals: 26-63 9-18 63. 3-point goals: 2-7. Rebounds: 19-15=34 (Stephens 7, Fletcher 6, Brown 5). Assists: 12 (Glover 4, Carter 4, White 3). Steals: 14 (Carter 4, Glover 4). Turnovers: 7. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None.

GALLIPOLIS (3-7): Reid Eastman 0 0 0-0 0, Justin Bailey 5 0 2-3 12, Nick Saunders 0 4 0-0 12, Caleb Craft 2 0 1-4 5, Jimmy Clagg 3 0 0-1 6,Wade Jarrell 0 0 0-0 0, Aaron Jackson 0 0 0-0 0, Joel Johnston 0 0 0-0 0, Cody Call 0 0 0-0 0, Logan Allison 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-39 3-8 35. 3-point goals: 4-17. Rebounds: 8-18=26 (Bailey 12, Craft 6, Jarrell 5). Assists: 10 (Jarrell 5, Eastman 3). Steals: 1 (Craft). Turnovers: 27. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: None.