Updated Thu, Feb 20, 2014 3:16 am
It’s easy to overlook a one-win team in the first round of the sectionals, but the Ironton Tigers came out of the gates in the first quarter to remind Fed Hock that records vanish once the tournament begins.
Ironton closed the game like the best one-win team in the state, outscoring the Lancers 26-8 in the fourth quarter and defeating the Lancers 60-38.
Fed Hock went on a 16-8 run heading into the second half, but halftime adjustments made by Ironton coach Mark LaFon stifled the Lancers’ momentum shift in the second quarter. LaFon said that the Tigers particularly wanted to stop Lancer guard Pete Crum, who had 15 points throughout the game.
“I hate to say this. We had already talked about (controlling Crum) before the game,” LaFon said. “We had to watch them obviously. At halftime, we definitely made sure someone else was going to get it.”
Ironton came out in the second half and started to break the Fed Hock full-court press for easy buckets. Junior guard Tristan Cox led the Tigers with 18 points, while Phillip Kratzenberg contributed with 16 points and six rebounds.
“We had three straight possessions where we stopped and stepped out of bounds with down here on this end. We get a turnover right here. I forget about the third possession,” Fed Hock coach Howie Caldwell said. “Three possessions with a four point lead, we should’ve added to it. Instead of adding to it, they gained momentum.”
The Lancers committed 15 turnovers throughout the ballgame, with seven coming in the first quarter. But Fed Hock’s struggles from beyond the 3-point arc hurt them in the final eight minutes.
The Lancers went 3 for 18 from three throughout the game and just 2 for 10 in the second half. Crum and Alfy Nichols, two of the Lancers’ top shooters, struggled from deep, with 14 of Fed Hock’s 15 misses.
“It was a disappointing fourth quarter in the fact that we lost all discipline,” Caldwell said. “We started shooting the basketball just for the sake of shooting it.”
The Lancers’ tournament hopes came to an end, but they have a game to be made up with the Trimble that will be the senior class’ final game.
“(It was a) disappointing loss, but I can’t take away from the seniors. These seniors work very, very hard. Extremely hard,” Caldwell said. “You think over the last three years, they had a 12-win season, 17-win season and now 13 with Trimble to be made up. They’ve been successful. They’ll do fine in their life because they know what hard work is all about.”