Ironton rises up to challenge
SPRING VALLEY -- Ironton was outsized by nearly four inches at every position entering a Friday boys basketball matchup with Flora MacDonald of Red Springs, N.C.
However, Ironton showed why the word "fighting" is in front of its nickname Fighting Tigers as they outworked the Cougars in a 52-37 victory on day one of the Tri-State Hoops Classic at Spring Valley High School.
"I was really proud of the effort out of all of our guys tonight," Ironton coach Mark LaFon said. "Every one, even our young guys, came in and played really hard and didn't back down from the challenge."
Ironton's Trey Fletcher was a one-man wrecking crew in the first half, scoring all 20 of his points and grabbing six of his seven rebounds in the opening 16 minutes to lead the Fighting Tigers to a 26-21 lead. Fletcher picked up his third foul early in the second half and was forced to the bench, but the post play of Trevor White and Aaron Stephens stepped up in his absence.
White and guard Zac Carter led the offensive charge in the third quarter as Ironton built its lead to double digits by holding the Cougars to just six points in the period.
Carter finished with 14 points despite a difficult night shooting. He did provide one of the night's more electric moments when he showed off his jumping ability by swatting a shot into the bleachers by Flora MacDonald's 6-foot-8 forward Rashed Anthony.
White finished the night with 13 points while winning the battle down low against Anthony and 6-9 forward Forrest Johnson.
FLORA MACDONALD 10 11 6 10 -- 52: Day 5, Davis 2, Johnson 2, Scott 17, Anthony 7, Lewis 4.
IRONTON 10 16 16 10 -- 37: Stephens 2, White 13, Fletcher 22, Cox 3, Carter 14.
HUNTINGTON PREP 68, OLDSMAR CHRISTIAN 21: Huntington Prep came out with a strong effort on both ends early and made quick work of the visitors from Florida.
Andrew Wiggins started the contest with an alley-oop dunk from Xavier Rathan-Mayes and ended the night with 21 points and nine rebounds.
Moses Kingsley added 11 points while Rathan-Mayes netted eight points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals.
The Express jumped out to a 13-2 lead then kept Oldsmar Christian without a field goal in a 12-minute stretch between the first and third quarters.
Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato was in the crowd.
OLDSMAR CHRISTIAN 7 2 8 4 -- 21: Spencer 4, Bianchi 5, Horn 2, Holston 4, Blyden 4, Nunn 2.
HUNTINGTON PREP 20 13 23 12 -- 68: Wiggins 21, Kingsley 11, Gill-Caesar 3, Landry 2, Provo 2, Rathan-Mayes 8, Woodson 6, Strake 6, Arroyo 5, Gabriel 4.