Ironton's White leads Fighting Tigers to victory
IRONTON -- Trevor White showed something to the Ironton coaching staff Saturday. White proved he can pick up the slack when leaders Zac Carter and Trey Fletcher are out of the lineup.
The 6-6 Fletcher took a seat on the bench near coach Mark LaFon early in the first period when he botched a dunk attempt. Carter followed with 1:30 remaining when he picked up his second foul.
White and the backups for the Fighting Tigers kept the home team in it against Akron Buchtel until Carter and Fletcher returned midway through the third period. They dominated play from that point on, sparking Ironton to a 73-64 win over the Griffins in the third and final game in the Ironton Shootout at the Conley Center.
In earlier action, Fairland's girls remained unbeaten with a 57-47 win over Ashland. Ironton's girls edged South Point, 44-38, to make up for a 42-40 loss to the Lady Pointers on Dec. 10.
"That's the first time I've seen Trev (White) have to step up with Zac and Trey on the bench," Fighting Tigers assistant coach Greg Arden said. "The bench did a great job. When Zac and Trey came back, they were fresh."
Ironton (12-2) led 66-54 with 3:55 left. The Griffins (10-3) cut the deficit to five at 66-61, but Carter followed by hitting five of six free throws to seal the win. He finished with 21 points, Fletcher 16 and the 6-4 White 15.
Anthone Hambrick and Deric Rucker each scored 11 points to pace Akron Buchtel.
Ironton trailed 29-26 at the break, but scored the first eight points in the third period to go ahead for good (34-29). The Fighting Tigers outscored the visitors 47-35 in the second half.
"They picked up the pace," Arden said of the pressure defense applied by the Griffins. "We were able to break and go and get some easy transition baskets. Zac's just so tough to defend when he takes it to the basket."
Ironton's next game is Tuesday at Huntington High.
Part of the festivities Saturday was the induction ceremony for the first Ironton High School Sports Hall of Fame class. The five honorees were introduced prior to the game. The Hall of Famers are George McAfee, Coy Bacon, Ken Fritz, Mike Burcham and Bob Lutz.
AKRON BUCHTEL 7 22 14 21 -- 64: Johnson 2, Tyler Jones 8, L. Smith 10, Hicks 5, Rucker 11, Cooper 8, Graise 1, Hambrick 11, Puryear 6, Sines 2.
IRONTON 12 14 27 20 -- 73: Carter 21, Fletcher 16, White 15, Stephens 6, Bowling 5, Cox 4, Long 4, Glover 2.
FAIRLAND 57, ASHLAND 47: The Lady Dragons (15-0) opened a 30-18 lead at halftime and held off the Kittens (15-4).
Junior Terra Stapleton Fairland with 25 points and Chandler Fulks added 12.
Kaylin Gambill paced Ashland with 16 points. The Lady Dragons held sophomore guard Alexis Robinson to eight.
"We knew it was a tall order," Fairland coach Jon Buchanan said. "We did a great job on defense in the first half. We did bend a little bit in the second half, but we made enough plays to win. They tried to pressure us and we handled it well."
Robinson is Ashland's catalyst on moves to the basket, but the Lady Dragons kept her outside Saturday. Gambill, the school's career leader in three-point baskets, hit for four.
"We were able to keep her out of the lane," Buchanan said. "When she gets there, she makes things happen. When she beat someone, someone else was there to pick up the slack."
Fairland returns to action Monday at home against Wheelersburg (15-2).
"Another challenge," Buchanan said. "We know we're going to get everybody's best shot."
ASHLAND 5 13 20 9 -- 47: Foutch 6, Jones 5, Cullop 9, Gambill 16, Robinson 8, Gunter 3.
FAIRLAND 15 15 15 12 -- 57: Stapleton 25, Swiger 5, Fulks 12, K. Riley 11, Stone 4.
IRONTON 44, SOUTH POINT 38: Ironton's pressure defense forced 30 turnovers, but the Lady Tigers (12-5) couldn't shake South Point. Ironton led by 12 (36-24) with 5:56 left, but South Point go to within five (36-31) with 2:44 to play. From that point, the Lady Tigers made enough free throws to secure the win.
"Ugly," Ironton coach Doug Graham said. "We shot extremely poorly, missed so many easy looks under the basket. I'm happy to get out with the win."
Graham said the Lady Pointers (6-9) battled his team to the end.
"We did some dumb stuff," Graham said. "We did a better job against the zone than the first time. You have to be patient to get what you want. South Point did what it had to do to give us problems."
Freshman Lexie Barrier led Ironton with 15 points. Abbey Winkler and Brianna Bacon topped the Lady Pointers with nine points apiece.
Ironton's next game is Monday at Chesapeake. South Point travels to Gallia Academy.
SOUTH POINT 4 8 12 14 -- 38: Winkler 9, Rawlins 6, Justice 6, Bacon 9, Adams 2, Bradburn 6.
IRONTON 11 11 8 14 -- 44: Washington 6, J. Hannan 1, Barrier 15, T. Hannan 6, Schweickart 4, Martin 2, McMackin 5, Scott 5.