IRONTON, Ohio — The Defenders fell behind early, and couldn’t keep the pace late.
As a result, the Ohio Valley Christian School boys basketball team lost at Ironton Saint Joseph on Monday night, falling 66-44 to the host Flyers at Ironton High School.
The Defenders trailed 15-8 after the opening quarter, and only outscored the Flyers 15-13 in the second stanza to trail 28-23 at halftime.
But the Flyers amassed a 38-21 second-half advantage, including a 20-8 outburst in the fourth and final frame.
With the loss, OVCS slipped to an even 8-8 — as Ironton St. Joseph is another Ohio High School Athletic Association School on its schedule.
The Flyers raised their record to 7-9, and doubled up the Defenders in two-point goals (17-9).
OVCS made more three-point goals, but St. Joseph enjoyed a parade to the free-throw line —attempting 25 and meshing 17.
While the Defenders sank seven three-pointers, they only attempted six foul shots and made five.
For the Defenders, Elijah McDonald poured in a team-high 22 points —half of the squad’s 44.
McDonald — with five first-quarter points and seven apiece in the middle two stanzas — managed four threes, four twos and 2-of-2 freebies.
Austin Ragan, on two baskets and 2-of-2 foul shots, recorded eight points — while Nate Dub drained two trifectas for six.
Justin Beaver, on two field goals before fouling out, and Hollis Morrison —on a trey and a charity toss —each scored four.
The Defenders were whistled for 18 fouls compared to only 12 for the Flyers, which got seven of their second-period points from the stripe.
Chase Walters, on seven buckets and 8-of-11 free throws, tied McDonald for game-high honors with 22.
He also ripped down 14 of the Flyers’ 37 rebounds for a strong double-double.
Zac McGraw, on six deuces and 5-of-5 foul shots, added 17 points —while Zach Roach — on four field goals and 4-of-5 free throws — finished with 14.
Roach and Clay Willis dialed in for a pair of three-pointers, while Issac Whaley — with five points — was responsible for the other.
Andrew Lawson landed a single field goal for the Flyers.
McGraw and Walters combined for 10 of St. Joseph’s 15 first-period points, before Roach went 4-of-4 at the line in the second.
McGraw went 4-of-4 in the third frame, followed by Walters with nine points and 3-of-3 at the stripe in the fourth.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106