Juniors Quentin Snider and Kelan Martin have been the offensive leaders for Ballard’s basketball team all season, but senior Lavonne Holland gives the Bruins a solid third option.
Playing his final home game, Holland poured in 23 points to help Ballard finish the regular season 24-4 with a hard-earned 84-74 victory over Male.
Snider, a junior who has committed to the University of Louisville, had 24 points to lead the Bruins, No. 2 in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings. The 6-foot-6 Martin, who didn’t start because it was senior night, checked in with Male up 15-9 and finished with 18 points and seven rebounds.
“It was good to see Lavonne play that way,” coach Chris Renner said. “He was aggressive, and it primed him for a good postseason.”
Ballard has won 10 straight games since losing to No. 1 Trinity 53-52 in the Louisville Invitational Tournament final last month.
“To me this was just another game,” Holland said. “I tried to be more aggressive and pick up my defense. I’m focusing on the postseason and going to State.”
Male (22-7), ranked fourth in the Seventh Region behind Trinity, Ballard and St. Xavier, lost for only the third time in 16 games. The Bulldogs led 35-29 before the Bruins ended the second quarter with a 9-2 for a 38-37 halftime lead.
“Male’s a pretty strong team,” Snider said. “We were pressing them and trying to deny them the ball.”
Josh Stoner, a 6-0 senior guard, scored 30 points for Male, hitting three 3-pointers in the first period and going 7 for 7 at the foul line for the game. Jalen Brasher added 15 points, and 6-7 sophomore Will Parker and 6-5 junior Steven Julian had 10 apiece.
Male led only once in the second half, at 39-38 on Stoner’s fast-break layup. Ballard took its first 10-point lead when Snider had a four-point play and Martin followed with a three-point play for a 53-43 margin.
“We have two good senior guards and we’ve really improved since the beginning of the year,” Male coach Larry Miller said. “We did a good job defensively until the fourth quarter, when we just stood up. We didn’t get to the foul line as much as we needed to.”
Ballard sank 31 of 37 free throws to Male’s 8 of 11. Holland was 7 for 8 and Martin 6 for 7.
Male (22-7) – Stoner 30, Brasher 15, Julian 10, Parker 10, Lambert 3, Scott 2, Baker 4.
Ballard (24-4) – Snider 24, Holland 23, Martin 18, Dow 8, Caggins 6, Douglas 3, Perry 2.
3-point goals – Stoner 3, Brasher 3; Snider 2, Caggins.