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Two free throws lift Pioneers over Fighting Tigers, 58-57

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Ayden Barnes (34) takes a 3-point shot during Tuesday’s game against Zane Trace. Ironton lost 58-57 on two free throws with less than a second to play. (Photo Courtesy of Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker

It was OK if Lady Luck didn’t smile on the Ironton Fighting Tigers, but it wasn’t very nice of her to scowl.
Ironton led 57-56 with 21 seconds to play after the three-point play by Charlie Large. The defense forced a bad 3-point attempt but a loose ball foul on the rebound sent Chad Ison to the foul line.
Ison sank two free throws with 00.6 seconds on the clock that lifted the Zane Trace Pioneers to a 58-57 win over the Fighting Tigers on Tuesday.
“It’s one of those bang-bang plays,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon. “Their kid stepped up their and hit both shots.”
The loss ended a five-game winning streak for Ironton (15-6) and overshadowed a 24-point effort by Large who hit five 3-pointers.
Reid Carrico was called for two quick fouls and sat out most of the first half only to return with a vengeance and scored 15 points and grab six rebounds.
Cam Evans had five 3-pointers and scored 30 points — five more than his season average. Ison came off the bench to hit four 3-pointers and score 14 points.
The Pioneers were up 13-6 before a 3-pointer by Large got Ironton within 13-9 to end the first quarter.
Zane Trace had a 21-14 lead on the strength of two 3-pointers by Ison.
But Trent Milleson knocked down his second 3-pointer and Large drained three straight trifectas as Ironton took its first lead at 26-21 with 2:44 left in the half.
Ison and Evans made back-to-back 3-pointers and the Pioneers were back on top at 27-26.
Ethan Wilson converted a three-point play as the Fighting Tigers took a 29-27 lead only to have Evans make a driving layup and tie the game 29-29 at the half.
In the third quarter, Zane Trace went up 39-36 on a layup by Nick Nesser and a triple by Ison. Carrico made two foul shots and Ironton was down 39-38 at the end of the quarter.
Carrico scored seven straight points including a three-point play to give Ironton a 47-42 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Carrico’s layup had Ironton up 49-45 when Evans hit a 3-pointer and Triton Davidson and Colby Swain had layups to take a 52-49 with 3:25 left.
A trifecta by Wilson and a putback by Large gave Ironton a 54-53 lead with 1:36 to go.
“Those kids really fought and executed,” said LaFon.
Evans sank both ends of a one-and-one and Colby Swain made one free throw for a 56-54 lead and 30 seconds left.
But on Swain’s miss, Carrico got the rebound and got the ball out quickly. Large drove to the middle of the lane and hit the shot and the bonus free throw for a 57-56 lead with 21 seconds to play.
That led to the final play and Ison’s free throws.
Ironton hosts Portsmouth on Friday.
Zane Trace 13 16 10 19 = 58
Ironton 9 20 9 19 = 57
ZANE TRACE (17-4): Colby Swain 0 0 1-2 1, Nick Nesser 4 0 1-1 9, Luke Johnson 0 0 0-0 0, Triton Davidson 2 0 0-0 4, Cam Evans 5 5 5-7 30, Chad Ison 0 4 2-2 14. Totals: 22-42 9-12 58. 3-pt goals: 9-17. Rebounds: 8-O, 13-D = 22 (Evans 6, Nesser 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 3. Assists: 7 (Evans 2, Swain 2). Steals: 3. Turnovers: 7. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: Davidson (4th 3:46).
IRONTON (15-6): Ethan Wilson 2 1 1-1 8, Jordan Grizzle 2 0 0-0 4, Reid Carrico 6 0 3-3 15, Charlie Large 4 5 1-1 24, Ayden Barnes 0 0 0-0 0, Trent Milleson 0 2 0-0 6, Hunter Humphreys 0 0 0-0 0, Collin Freeman 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22-46 5-5 57. 3-pt goals: 8-19. Rebounds: 9-O, 14-D = 23 (Carrico 6, Wilson 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 2. Assists: 14 (Wilson 10. Steals: 4 (Grizzle 2). Turnovers: 7. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None.