Nashville powerhouse Christ Presbyterian had beaten Ballard High two straight years on the court at Fairdale High School, so on Saturday night the Bruins got a dominant effort from Kelan Martin and executed in overtime to make sure CPA didn’t make it three straight.
Martin, a Butler signee and Kentucky Mr. Basketball finalist, had 35 points and 11 rebounds as the Bruins, No. 1 in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings, outlasted the Lions 83-81 in OT of the inaugural Forcht Bank King of the Bluegrass Showcase at Fairdale.
It was high-level matchup of last year’s Kentucky state runner-up and Tennessee’s two-time defending Class 2-A state champion, and both teams used the game to prepare for runs at a state title this year.
“We didn’t want to get beat three times in a row,” Ballard coach Chris Renner said, referring to the Bruins’ losses to CPA in the King of the Bluegrass Holiday Classic in December 2011 and ’12. “They’re a tremendously well-coached team, very talented, and they execute, play hard and are tough. … I told the guys, ‘There’s really no team in Kentucky that’s as good as CPA,’ so I wanted to take that as a challenge for our guys to really go out there and play like it like it was a state championship game. I was proud of how our guys defended. We played tough.”
Jalen Perry added 17 points, including a key 3-pointer to give Ballard (20-5) a late lead in regulation, and nine rebounds. Quentin Snider had 14 points.
Braxton Blackwell, one of the nation’s top sophomores, had 29 points for CPA (25-2), and Liberty signee Braxton Bonds had 15 points and 10 assists. He banked in a runner with 31 seconds left to force overtime.
“This gets us better for ultimately what our goal is, which is to play (in the state title game) in Tennessee, and this is a step in the right direction in creating game situations we can’t create by beating teams as badly as we’ve been beating them,” CPA coach Drew Maddux said, calling Ballard the best team the Lions had faced. “We don’t accept defeat but certainly are thankful for the opportunity to get better.”
Martin scored 10 points in the final seven minutes, including OT. His 3-pointer gave the Bruins a 77-76 lead with 1:33 left in OT, and he made 3 of 4 free throws in the final 30 seconds. He also intercepted CPA’s full-court pass with 1.4 seconds to go to preserve the win.
Ballard-CPA was the finale of a six-game slate at Fairdale.
* Deshan Rushin hit a deep 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds remaining to lift the No. 6 Panthers (17-4) past the No. 11 Patriots (15-5) in a back-and-forth game of teams that made last year’s state tournament.Pleasure Ridge Park 63, Knott County Central 60:
Knott All-State guard Camron Justice’s two free throws tied the score at 60, and the Panthers called timeout with 19.5 to play. Antonio McDaniels drove and kicked it to the right wing to Rushin, whose high-arching shot found nothing but net.
“As a kid growing up, I always wanted to play the hero, so I was happy I could knock it down for my teammates and get the ‘W,’ ” said Rushin, who finished with 10 points.
McDaniels (15 points) Lamontray Harris (14) and D’Angelo Hunter (13) led PRP.
Justice, a Tennessee commitment, had 22 points.
* After Allatoona scored with 12 seconds to go, Devon Johnson went coast to coast for a layup to give the No. 12 Raiders (16-3) a major win over a previously unbeaten team that is ranked No. 1 in Class 5-A in Georgia.Iroquois 50, Allatoona (Ga.) 49:
Johnson had a game-high 20 points as Iroquois rallied from 10 down in the second half.
“It’s big for our kids,” Iroquois coach Jeff Morrow said. “When you can tangibly say you beat a team ranked No. 1, that means a lot to our guys. They never quit and kept playing hard. It’s a special win.”
Johnson had a similar winning, end-to-end play against Manual this season, so elected not to use a timeout after Allatoona (22-1) went ahead 49-48.
Allatoona had 22 turnovers and lost despite shooting 70.8 percent from the floor.
* With Kentucky coach John Calipari, UK assistant Orlando Antigua and Louisville assistant Kevin Keatts in attendance, five-star junior Luke Kennard had 45 points and 13 rebounds as the Wildcats outgunned the Cardinals (17-5).Franklin (Ohio) 96, Taylor County 84:
Caleb Wiggington had 25 points and eight rebounds for Taylor County, and sophomore Quentin Goodin had 21 points, four rebounds and three blocks.
Kennard and Goodin, who is also a UK and U of L target, went straight to the KFC Yum! Center after the game as guests for U of L’s contest against Central Florida. Goodin will visit Indiana today.
Drew Ellis had 18 points to lead the Red Devils past the host Bulldogs (8-13). Cory Thomas had 30 points for Fairdale.* Jeffersonville68, Fairdale 57:
* Deja Westbrook had 13 points for the Lady Bulldogs (6-6), who struggled after falling behind 18-2 after the first quarter.CPA (girls) 70, Fairdale 30:
– Griffin 1, Brevet 9, T. Tshiminga 10, Cornelius 4, Brown 9, E. Tshiminga 4, Fowler 12.Allatoona, Ga. (22-1)
– Johnson 20, Smith 9, Little 9, Bowling 1, Martin 9, Porter 2.Iroquois (16-3)
– Fowler 1, Johnson 1, Little 1, Martin 3.3-point goals
– Major 1, Lambus 2, Kwitonda 7, Ellis 19, Hudson 8, Sims 9, Coleman 3, Williams 13, Allen 6.Jeffersonville (8-6)
– Moore 11, Mason 5, Thomas 30, Longacre 7, Richardson 4.Fairdale (8-13)
– Ellis 3, Hudson 2, Sims 1, Coleman 1, Williams 1, Thomas 2, Longacre 2.3-point goals
|Knott Co. Central||14||15||19||12||–||60|
– Justise 22, Shrum 3, Miller 4, Christon 8, Hall 17, Cornett 6.Knott County Central (15-5)
– McDaniels 15, Raheem 7, Hunter 13, Rushin 10, Harris 14, Glass 4.Pleasure Ridge Park (17-4)
– Justice 1, Shrum 1, Christon 1, Cornett 2, McDaniels 1, Hunter 1, Rushin 2, Harris 2.3-point goals
– Kennard 45, Doliboa 14, Crowe 17, Daniels 10, Watkins 4, Thompson 6.Franklin, Ohio
– Goodin 21, Sloan 17, Wiggington 25, Webster 10, Oliver 10, Rafferty 1.Taylor County (17-5)
– Daniels, Kennard 2, Crowe 3, Thompson 2; Sloan 2, Wiggington.3-point goals
– Bonds 15, Blackwell 29, Richard 8, Allsmiller 14, Davis 15.Christ Presbyterian, Tenn. (25-2)
– Martin 35, Dow 6, Snider 14, Robinson 6, Perry 17, Kovacevic 3, Douglas 2.Ballard (20-5)
– Allsmiller 4, Davis 3; Martin 2, Snider, Perry 2, Kovacevic.3-point goals
– LeGate 19, Huddleston 3, Stout 8, A. Franco 6, Hambrok 5, I. Franco 20, Black 4, Grace 6.Christ Presbyterian (Tenn.)
– Westbrook 13, Alford 7, Babalade 8, Nelis 1, Sams 2.Fairdale (6-6)
– I. Franco 2, Grace 2, Huddleston 1, A. Franco 1, Black 1; Alford 1.3-point goals