The Wheelersburg Pirates came home after a victory on Friday night against the Valley Indians to add another win to their season against the Ironton Tigers Saturday night, taking home a 46-30 victory in Wheelersburg to move to 7-1 on the year.
During the first quarter, Wheelersburg wasted no time slowing down the Ironton offensive attack, especially after Justin Salyers was inserted into the affair with around 2:35 to play in the opening quarter. Salyers, along with Tanner Holden, proceeded to produce on both ends of the floor as the pair combined for 14 points to end the first quarter making the score 14-2 at the end of the quarter.
With 5:20 left in the first half, Holden, who finished with 17 points and seven rebounds for the contest, broke away from the defense and took the ball to the hole, punctuating the play with a massive slam that sent the crowd into a frenzy and got the Pirates off and running again as Wheelersburg headed into the halftime break with a 24-10 lead over the Tigers.
“Tanner played great,” Ater said. “He played under control. There was a possession where they tried to speed us up and he settled the offense down. When he sensed what was there, he saw a driving lane, went in, and scored. Those crucial baskets in the fourth quarter helped us stretch the lead, which took away any chance for the Tigers to come back.”
While Ironton cut that margin down to a two-possession game at one point in time, Wheelersburg ultimately burned the Fighting Tigers as the Pirates counteracted Ironton’s 2-3 zone with its shooting from beyond the arc as a trey from Dustin Darnell, along with a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Cole Lowery, allowed Wheelersburg to take an 11-point lead, 33-22, at the end of the third quarter as Wheelersburg kept firm control throughout en route to the victory.
“It feels good,” Ater said following the win. “You‘re always worried how it will turn out playing back-to-back games to a non-conference opponent, but our boys came out and did well. We’re just going to take things one game at a time. South Webster is a very tough opponent, and (Brenton) Cole and his coaching staff will have those guys ready, so we have to be prepared.”