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Ironton tops T-Wolves in opener

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Charlie Large (32) hits one of five 3-pointers as he scored 28 points in an 85-75 season opening win over Spring Valley on Saturday. (Photo by Tim Gearhart).

Jim Walker

This one was about bombs and boards.
The Ironton Fighting Tigers good shooting and strong rebounding to open the season with an 85-75 win over the Spring Valley Timberwolves.
Ironton was 29-of-65 from the field for 45 percent including 7-of-14 from the 3-point line.
The Fighting Tigers also dominated the glass with 47 rebounds — 23 on the offensive end — while the T-Wolves managed only 20.
“We were very aggressive going to the glass,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.
“I felt we’d be a better shooting team this year. We focused on it during the summer.”
Ironton’s Charlie Large was the top bombardier as he hit five 3-pointers and scored 28 points to lead all scorers. He also had eight rebounds.
Reid Carrico got 23 points to go with 10 rebounds for the Fighting Tigers while Ethan Wilson had 14 points, 13 rebounds, five steals and four assists. Jordan Grizzle added 10 points
C.J. Meredith scored 27 points to lead a short-handed T-Wolves squad. Nathan Ellis had 20 points and Caleb Fowler scored 14.
Spring Valley played in the West Virginia football Class 3A state championship game last Friday and several players were not available to play. LaFon said using Ironton’s depth was part of the game plan.
“They got a little bit tired. We tried to wear them down. That’s what we wanted to do coming into the game,” said LaFon.
The T-Wolves jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead but Ironton then got a trey by Large to ignite an 11-point run that was capped by another Large triple and it was 11-5.
A pair of baskets by C.J. Meredith got Spring Valley within 14-13 but a 12-footer from Carrico and a layup by Large made it 18-13.
Ironton’s Trent Milleson and Meredith traded baskets and it was 20-15 at the end of the quarter.
Large drained three more trifectas and Wilson’s layup gave Ironton its biggest lead of the half at 42-30.
Fowler’s layup got Spring Valley within 10 and a free throw by Carrico pushed the lead to 43-32 at the break.
A steal and layup by Jordan Grizzle to begin the second half put Ironton up 45-32.
Ironton was up 51-39 after two foul shots by Wilson only to have Chase Maynard hit back-to-back baskets and slice the spread to 51-43.
Carrico’s putback got the lead to 10 only to have Spring Valley get within 53-47 on a couple of baskets by Fowler.
A layup by Carrico before the end of the quarter had Ironton ahead 63-53.
The lead went to 75-62 on a layup by Collin Freeman and a free throw by Carrico, but Ellis made a layup and Meredith knock down a trey and it was 77-68.
Large took over as the chief pilot as he hit a foul shot and got a putback and it was 80-68.
The Fighting Tigers went to the foul line and were 11-of-14 in the quarter including 5-of-6 down the stretch to sealed the victory.
For the game, Ironto was 20-of-26 at the foul line.
“(Making free throws) was the difference in the game,” said LaFon.
Ironton vists Fairland on Tuesday.
Spring Valley 15 17 21 22 = 75
Ironton 20 23 20 22 = 85
SPRING VALLEY (0-1): Chase Maynard 4 0 0-0 8, Caleb Fowler 6 0 2-2 14, C.J. Meredith 6 4 3-5 27, Reece Stevenson 2 0 0-1 4, Nathan Ellis 9 0 2-2 20, Brock Booth 0 0 2-2 2. Totals: 31-61 9-12 75. 3-pt goals: 4-18. Rebounds: 8-O, 12-D = 20 (Maynard 5). Team rebounds: 3. Assists: 9 (Booth 3, Maynard 3). Steals: 9 (Meredith 3). Turnovers: 15. Fouls: 20. Fouled out: Stevenson (4th 0:18).
IRONTON (1-0): Ethan Wilson 3 0 8-8 14, Reid Carrico 9 0 5-8 23, Charlie Large 5 5 3-4 28, Jordan Grizzle 1 2 2-2 10, Trent Milleson 2 0 0-0 4, Hunter Humphreys 0 0 1-2 1, Collin Freeman 2 0 1-2 5, Ayden Barnes 0 0 0- 00, Trent Hacker 0 0 0-0 0, Erickson Barnes 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 29-65 20-26 85. 3-pt goals: 7-14. Rebounds: 23-O, 24-D = 47 (Wilson 13, Carrico 10, Large 8). Team rebounds: 3. Assists: 15 (Large 5, Wilson 4, Humphreys 3). Steals: 10 (Wilson 5). Turnovers: 19. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None.