His team’s 17-point lead had been trimmed to three midway through the fourth quarter, but Ballard High School boys’ basketball coach Chris Renner barely blinked.
No timeouts, no shouting at his team. Turns out Renner was steaming inside, comparing his feeling to that of a parent dealing with a disobedient child.
“You always love your kids, but there are times you don’t like them and are upset with them,” Renner said. “Right now is one of those moments … that I’m not really happy with them.”
Renner was, however, pleased to get the victory as Anthony Eaves scored 19 points and Jalen Perry added 10 to lead the Bruins past Male 66-56 on Wednesday in a second-round game of the Republic Bank Louisville Invitational Tournament at Valley.
The Bruins (14-2) — No. 2 in the state in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings – continued to prosper from long range, hitting 11 of 25 3-point attempts (44 percent). Six players hit at least one 3-pointer, led by Eaves’ 3-for-7 performance.
Ballard advanced to face Eastern (13-2) in Friday’s 7 p.m. quarterfinal.
Brandon Horne scored 13 points and Cornelius Watts 10 for Male (9-8).
Ballard jumped to a 24-7 lead early in the second quarter, saw Male pull within 30-25 at halftime and pushed its lead out to 52-35 after three quarters.
But Male didn’t quit, scoring the first 14 points of the fourth quarter and pulling with 52-49 on Will Parker’s putback with 4:05 left.
Renner didn’t call out specific players but said some haven’t bought into the team concept.
“When you’re too self-absorbed with your own game and your own personal achievements, you’re never going to be a great basketball team,” he said. “If we’re going to stay like that, then we’re going to lose some games.”
Eaves rescued the Bruins down the stretch, getting back-to-back baskets to push their lead to 56-49 with 3:06 left. The Bulldogs never got closer than six points the rest of the way.
“I was pleased with (Eaves) tonight,” Renner said. “More important, I thought he was aggressive defensively. He’s struggled to defend the way we want him to defend, but he did that tonight.”
Male (9-8) – Bowman 5, Horne 13, Watts 10, Parker 7, Cook 9, Johnson 3, Brownley 9.
Ballard (14-2) – C. Douglas 8, Eaves 19, Alvey 6, Perry 10, Wilson 8, Schiavone 8, Ramsey 4, Smith 3.
3-point goals – Bowman, Horne 2, Watts 2, Cook; Eaves 3, Alvey 2, Perry, Wilson 2, Schiavone 2, Smith.