CHESAPEAKE, Ohio Irontons Erickson Barnes and Trent Hacker worked the outside-inside game oh so well.
Barnes nailed six three-pointers and Hacker, with a sore left ankle, did the yeomans work on the inside time and again, leading the Fighting Tigers past Chesapeake, 49-41, Friday night in Ohio Valley Conference play at Chesapeakes Norm Persin Court.
Barnes finished with a team-high 20 points and Hacker backed him with 18. Barnes also had 11 rebounds for a double-double for the beat-up Fighting Tigers. Barnes drilled four threes in the first period.
Erickson hit some shots when open, Ironton coach P.J. Fitch said. When he wasnt, he drew players to him, we kicked it to Hacker.
Despite the solid one-two punch from Barnes and Hacker, Ironton needed a late run to put this one away. The Fighting Tigers led 39-31 with 38 seconds left in the third period. The Panthers then converted three threes, one by Dannie Maynard and two by Levi Blankenship, to take a 40-39 lead with 5:18 left.
Ironton then reeled off 10 straight points to lead 49-40 with 1:20 to play. Barnes hit a trey and Hacker had three points in that surge. On defense, Chesapeake managed just one point in the final five-plus minutes.
Kids played really hard, Fitch said. Hackers one of the toughest kids around.
Hacker, who had ice on the ankle as he left the gym, said Barnes hitting early opened things up.
Hes got that good shot, Hacker said. When they tried to front, we got the seal and I drove inside. We didnt let the past (Chesapeakes 9-0 run) affect us. Put it behind us and come back, stop and score.
Blankenship led Chesapeake (6-7, 3-6 OVC) with 13 points and Caleb Schneider added 12. He fouled out late in the fourth period.
Barnes said he got that feeling shooters get after hitting the first two shots.
Concentrate, he said. Make the first one and every time I catch it I think shot. Hit some and the lane opens up for Trent. Hes a rough competitor.
Ironton (4-5, 4-5 OVC) is back in action Saturday night at Gallia Academy.
Fitch said the Fighting Tigers have played just two times at full strength.
Weve had a time, he said. A lot of freshmen and sophomores. We had the lead, a freshman shot one and I said, why? Hell learn. At the end, it was get stops and finish.
Ironton also took care of the ball better in the second half. The visitors had 12 turnovers in the first half against the press and pressure defense applied by the Panthers.
A few bonehead plays, but in the end we did a better job, Fitch said. Got into our press offense and didnt force anything.
The win give Ironton the season-sweep over Chesapeake. The Fighting Tigers won the first encounter on their court, 56-52, back in early December.
IRONTON 16 10 13 10 49: Wilson 2, Hacker 18, Hopper 5, Porter 2, Barnes 20, York 5.
CHESAPEAKE 17 10 7 7 41: Maynard 3, Schneider 12, Cox 4, Blankenship 13, Bragg 6, Bellomy 2, Lemley 1.
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