Ironton’s late rally falls short
It seems like every time the Ironton Fighting Tigers close a window, someone opens up a door.
Ironton held Chillicothe’s leading scorer Tommy Bolte in check, but teammates Eddy Wells and Nate Rosenbauer picked up the scoring as the Cavaliers held off the Fighting Tigers 57-47 on Saturday.
Bolte came into the game averaging 23 points a game and was held to 10. However, Wells hit four 3-pointers and scored 18 points and Rosenbauer had 16 points.
Wells averages six points a game and Rosenbauer seven points a game.
“We watched (Wells) do it last night. It’s hard to cover both sides when you’re struggling to find your defense. You’re playing pretty solid defense and he just catches and shoots pretty quick. That’s hard to stop,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.
Ironton (0-11) got 18 points from Tristan Cox — 14 in the second half — and Phillip Kratzenberg scored 12 and had three steals. Desmond Young had five rebounds.
It was Kratzenberg’s first game since being injured against Eastern Brown on Dec. 14.
“It was a big difference (having Krazenberg back). You’re able to run different sets and do different things because he’s on the floor. He has the ability to get around people and he can score the ball a bit,” said LaFon.
“Desmond Young killed himself. He just battled and battled and battled. He had to play a lot of minutes inside without a lot of help inside. I’m real proud of him.”
Ironton played without center Isaac Sherman who missed with a sprained ankle.
Ironton stayed close throughout the first quarter and took a 9-8lead on a 15-footer by Cox.
But Rosenbauer had a putback and a 3-pointer to put the Cavaliers up 13-9.
A layup by Young off a pass from Cox made it 13-11. A layup by Bolte made it 15-11 just before the buzzer.
A 3-pointer by Eddy Wells to begin the second quarter gave Chillicothe an 18-11lead and his second 3-pointer late in the half opened up the Cavaliers’ biggest lead at 24-15.
Kratzenberg hit a 15-footer and a layup by Nate Garred’s layup with a minute left got Ironton within 24-19 at the break.
Ironton went on a 6-0 run to begin the second half including a 3-point play by Cox that gave the Fighting Tigers a 25-24 lead.
But the Cavaliers went on a 12-0 run to lead 36-25 and led 43-31 at the end of the quarter.
A 14-footer by Wells gave Chillicothe a 47-31 lead early in the fourth quarter. Ironton began its late comeback and trailed 51-43 after a pair of foul shots by Kratzenberg with 2:58 left.
But Wells converted four free throws and Bolte two more as the Cavaliers staved off the rally.
“Chillicothe played very aggressive and they played smart. Our kids battled, they’re just not doing things the right way. Playing hard and playing right are two different things. We need them both together,” said LaFon.
“We battled the whole game. You could maybe an opportunity in the game when you could back off and quit and they didn’t do that. We just can’t shoot ourselves in the foot with some of the silly mistakes we make.”
Ironton plays at Gallipolis on Tuesday and Ashland, Ky., on Thursday.
Chillicothe 15 9 19 14 = 57
Ironton 11 8 12 16 = 47
CHILLICOTHE (5-6): Eddy Wells 1 4 4-4 18, Tommy Bolte 2 0 6-6 10, Nate Rosenbauer 6 1 1-3 16, Isaiah Johnson 1 0 1-2 3, Matt Benson 1 0 2-2 4, Nolan Taylor 3 0 0-0 6. Totals: 19-41 14-17 57. 3-point goals: 5-15. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 8-OR, 17-DR = 25 (Bolte 8, Rosenbauer 5). Team/deaball rebounds: 3. Assists: 5. Steals: 6 (Benson 2). Turnovers: 16.
IRONTON (0-11): Tristan Cox 7 0 4-5 18, Nate Garred 3 0 0-0 6, Lucas Campbell 0 0 4-6 4, Desmond Young 2 0 1-2 5, Phillip Kratzenberg 4 0 4-5 12, Marques Davis 0 0 0-0 0, Chad Garris 0 0 0-0 0, Hunter Klaiber 0 0 0-2 0, Joe Matkins 1 0 0-1 2. Totals: 17-43 13-21 47. 3-point goals: 0-7. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: one. Rebounds: 8-OR, 16-DR = 24 (Young 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 6 (Cox 2, Young 2). Steals: 8 (Krazenberg 3). Turnovers: 15.