Tigers gone in 50 seconds
COLUMBUS -- With just 1:30 left in regulation of Ironton's 61-60 overtime loss to Ottawa-Glandorf, the Fighting Tigers and Titans stood deadlocked 48-48.
Just 34 seconds later, Ironton led 54-48 following a layup by Trey Fletcher, a second-chance basket by Zac Carter and two free throws by Josh Glover following a loose-ball turnover.
Ironton appeared to be poised to deliver the knockout blow when Fletcher grabbed a defensive rebound.
However, the Titans managed a quick haymaker that staggered Ironton.
Fletcher's outlet pass was stolen by Caleb Siefker, who was fouled on a 3-point attempt by Trevor White -- his fifth and final foul of the game.
Siefker connected on all three free throws and Matt Kaufman stole the in-bounds pass and kicked to Siefker for a layup to cut it to 54-53.
After Fletcher hit one of two free throws, Kaufman drove the lane uncontested on a defensive breakdown to knot the game 55-55 with 9/10 of a second left.
As quickly as the Fighting Tigers had built the lead, it had vanished.
"We had a lot of chances, I had a turnover down the stretch and we just didn't do the right things down the stretch," Carter said. "We haven't been here and they're an experienced team -- they've been here last year. They did what they needed to and we didn't."
Miscues and adversity were something Ironton battled to the very end.
On Ottawa-Glandorf's final possession, T.J. Metzger drove the lane and got to the rim before being fouled with 1.1 seconds left. After missing the first, he hit the second to provide the final nail in the Fighting Tigers' season.
It was a nightmare ending to a dream season for Ironton, who finished with a 23-3 record and had a 17-game winning streak snapped in its first loss to an Ohio team all season.
Fletcher went out with one of his top performances in an Ironton uniform, connecting on 11-of-15 shots from the floor and ending the day with 27 points and 13 rebounds.
He said that was little solace.
"Not really," Fletcher said. "We didn't win the game. Everyone played their heart out though. You just have to leave it all out on that court. That's what we did."
The Fighting Tigers played hard for all 36 minutes, they just didn't always play smart.
In all, Ironton had 21 turnovers and that proved to be the undoing.
"I think our kids made the effort to do it, but we just didn't execute," Ironton coach Mark LaFon said. "At this stage and any stage, you have to execute and close it out. We didn't do a very good job of that."
For Ironton, it's a difficult end for a senior-laden team that was the winningest four-year class in school history.