Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

March 8, 2013

Ballard steals Shane’s show

Hall hangs 28 points, Bruins have 20 steals in Central loss

LEXINGTON — It went from rim-rocking — Shane Hall's third dunk put Johnson Central ahead 30-29 late in the second quarter — to rim-rattling.

The Golden Eagles, when not adding to a myriad of turnovers, missed 14 of their last 23 shot attempts as a blossoming upset bid faded quickly into a mere pipe dream.

Louisville Ballard, labeled widely as the tournament favorite, went on an absolute tear to triumph over Johnson Central, 75-54, during Thursday's opening-round game of the KHSAA Boys Sweet Sixteen at Rupp Arena.

Ballard caused 25 total turnovers, many of which helped the Bruins reel off 46 of the game's final 70 points. The Bruins had 20 steals.

“That’s the Louisville Ballard I thought we were going to see,” said Johnson Central coach Tommy McKenzie. "”We knew their M.O. was to create pressure and create turnovers.”

Johnson Central coughed it up six times throughout the final 3:03 of the second quarter as that 30-29 lead turned into a 41-31 deficit by halftime.

It was the Shane Show for Johnson Central early as Hall, a junior, accounted for 19 of the Golden Eagles' 31 first-half points. He was 7-of-8 shooting in the first 13 minutes. He finished with 28 points, eight rebounds and a block in 30 minutes.

“I thought we did a real good job of maintaining our spacing, giving him room to work,” McKenzie said of his 6-foot-9 star. “And I thought he did a better job of wanting the ball than he has in a long time.”

Hall struggled to stay involved in last year’s Sweet Sixteen loss to John Hardin. He settled into a comfort zone early this go-round at Rupp.

“I guess last year I was just getting used to the environment,” said Hall, who has scholarship offers from Tennessee, Butler and several others. “This year, I came ready to play, to give it my all.”

Ballard held Hall relatively quiet for the remainder of the game. He had just two points in the third quarter before providing some “wow” moments again in the fourth — once with a two-handed slam and then with a one-handed reverse finish of an alley-oop.

“When you're a pressing and trapping team like we are, we're not designed specifically to take one guy away,” said Ballard coach Chris Renner. “So we’re rotating to spots and to areas. We didn’t do a good job in that first half of, when we rotated, bodying up on him and we let him get a lot of touches in the middle of the defense.”

Ballard junior forward Kelan Martin had the assignment of being more physical with Hall.

“Kelan started to body him up a little bit and denied him the ball,” Renner said.

Martin also supplied Ballard with its best individual shooting effort. Named the Player of the Game, he was 9 of 14 from the floor en route to 22 points. He added eight boards.

Louisville commit Quinten Snider, a junior, netted 16 points. Lavonne Holland tallied 12.

Johnson Central shot 50 percent overall, but attempted a whopping 29 fewer shots than Ballard (30 of 69).

Ballard, the Seventh Region champion, has now rolled off 16 straight double-digit wins. The Bruins (29-4) face the Clay County-Knott County Central winner at 8 p.m. in today's quarterfinal round.

Johnson Central (22-11) took a first-round exit for the second straight season. With no seniors, the Golden Eagles expect to contend in the 15th Region again in 2013-14.

Said McKenzie of the experience: “It’s awesome for us. Last year we were kind of shell-shocked. This year we did a good job of meeting expectations. Nobody wanted Louisville Ballard in the first round but, like I told the kids, if we’re going to play the No. 1 team in the state of Kentucky, we might as well play them in the first round.”

Sophomore Kyle Gullett tallied 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Braxton Blair chipped in 10 points. Truman Salyer (7.0 PPG, 5.2 RPG) was limited to three minutes (flu).

AARON SNYDER can be reached at asnyder@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • MARK MAYNARD: Looking for those who inspire

    Inspirtation, they say, comes from within. It is defined as an inspiring or animating action or influence.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0722KYPGA_152.jpg Jones tops Gillum in playoff at Eagle Trace

    Ashland senior golfer Logan Jones didn't shoot his average Monday.
    He didn't mind.
    His three-over par 75 and one-hole playoff win over Elliott County junior Ryan Gillum gave him the Boys Open division title in the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour stop at Morehead State University's Eagle Trace Golf Course.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • 102213_329a.jpg Raceland tabs Clark as new girls basketball coach

    Jason Clark has a reputation of being — to use his word — “passionate” on the Raceland volleyball sideline.
    He plans to bring that same approach as the Lady Rams’ new basketball coach.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0305region2_389.jpg Pass the Mayo: East sophomore PG, Lady Raiders preparing for winter run

    East Carter sophomore point guard Kristen Mayo has played basketball for as long as she can remember.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0718spinda.jpg Steelers super fan Spinda to be recognized in Florida

    Shawn Spinda doesn’t have to use speech to profess his passion for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    All it takes is a quick glance for a person to get the picture.
    But to absorb the whole picture, you’ll need to clear your schedule.
    Spinda is one of several fanatics who will be recognized at the Sports Fans Conference in Orlando, Florida, which is set for Aug. 28-Sept. 1 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. He is a “What a Fan” NFL Fan of the Year nominee.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703rfLL0204.jpg Little League State Baseball: Ready to run

    Morehead 11- and 12-year-old All-Star baseball manager Toby Gardner collectively likened his team to a racehorse.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0717prokick1.jpg Prokicker.com camp Eleven Ashland Tomcat football players were part of the Ray Guy Prokicker.com camp at Huntington High. The high-profile camps are put on all over the country. Rick Sang, an Ashland native who befriended Guy 20 years ago, is the camp's founder.

    July 16, 2014

  • 0716fbpractice0105.jpg Four-down territory: Making summer football practice pit stops

    ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?
    The popular Monday night catchphrase filled my room on Tuesday morning as my new alarm sounded off at 7 a.m.

    July 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • 0716softball.jpg KHSAA pushes presence of masks

    Fairview’s Sydney Ekers and Lewis County’s Kelsey Rizzo didn’t wear masks to play softball until after they were struck in the face by line drives.
    The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has made a recommendation that it hopes will reduce such instances.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • LOCAL SPORTS BRIEFS: Ellis on 'leave' for Fairview volleyball

    Lauren Ellis is stepping aside as Fairview’s volleyball coach for this fall in order to complete coursework on her master’s degree, she said Tuesday.

    July 16, 2014