Ironton, Fairland, Huntington, and Wheelersburg advance in Athens Division-III district

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Ironton, Fairland, Huntington, and Wheelersburg advance in Athens Division-III district
Sunday at the Convo in Athens, southeast Ohio basketball fans were treated to four games for the price of one as Ironton, Fairland, Huntington and Wheelersburg all won in fairly comfortable fashion to advance to the district finals. The foursome returns Saturday for the district finals.


ATHENS – Sunday at the Convo in Athens, southeast Ohio basketball fans were treated to four games for the price of one as Ironton, Fairland, Huntington, and Wheelersburg all won in fairly comfortable fashion to advance to the district finals.

Game one was the closest finish of the day as Ironton and Peebles were tied at 60 apiece in the late going, but Ironton scored the game’s final 11 points to secure the 71-60 victory. Peebles sensational freshman Blake Justice led all scorers with 21 points, but Ironton’s domination on the offensive glass that accounted for nearly half of its field goals proved to be too much for Peebles to overcome. The Tigers were led by 20 points from junior Dustin Green in the winning effort as the Tigers will return to Athens next Saturday to play for a district championship.

Next up for Coach Mark Lafon’s Ironton Fighting Tigers will be fellow Lawrence County team in Fairland High School. Fairland advanced with a 66-50 win over North Adams. This game was tight throughout half number one as Fairland led only 23-21 at the break, but North Adams was outscored 21-9 during the third stanza to break things open.

Coach Dave Young and his Green Devils see their fine season end at 19-4. In the loss, North Adams was led by 14 points from Carter Nehus as well as 12 from Kraig Unger and 11 from Sam Louden.

The story in this one was the dominate frontline play of Fairland. Junior Michael Lamb and senior Dustin Bumgardner were simply too much for North Adams. The Fairland forwards combined for 39 points and 22 rebounds.

Coach Chad Belville’s Dragons improve to 18-5 as they enter the district championship. Even though Fairland and Ironton are close geographically, the two teams did not meet during the regular season. This championship match-up will tip at 6:00 P.M. next Saturday at the Convo in Athens.

Huntington’s Justin Kellough dominated the opening half of game number three. The senior forward scored 19 of his game-high 25 points before the break to help the Scioto Valley Conference regular season champions open up a 43-22 halftime advantage – an advantage which eventually ended in a 72-56 final over Chesapeake. Josh Kellough added 18 for the victors while Corey Cottrill chipped in 10 points and 11 rebounds as well. Tyler Shoemaker scored 18 for Chesapeake in the loss while teammate Kyle Webb added 11 points.

After the dominating performance from Huntington, the Huntsmen awaited the winner in the nightcap between Wheelersburg and Piketon. This game was all Wheelersburg as the Pirates jumped out to an early double-digit lead and never looked as the black and orange blew out Piketon 70-35.

Leading the way for Wheelersburg was Matt Stegman. The 6-3 senior scored 14 points while his brother, Andy scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. The Pirates also got double-digit scoring from Drew Spradlin with 11 points.

Cody Smith was the only Redstreak in double-figures scoring 14 points. Piketon ends its season at 15-8.

The win sets up a highly anticipated district championship against the pair of 20-2 teams in Huntington and Wheelersburg next Saturday night at the Convo. This game will follow the Ironton/Fairland final and is scheduled for approximately 8:00 P.M.

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