Bombers Fall to Cardinals
The Ballard Memorial Bombers know that in order to make the regional tournament, they will have to beat either Graves County or Mayfield. The Cardinals will more than likely be the opponent for the Bombers, so Friday night’s game was a good measuring stick on where the Bombers stand. That measuring stick showed the Bombers have a lot of room for improvement as the Cardinals dismantled the Bombers 73-48. This follows the 23 point victory Mayfield had over Ballard Memorial last month at the Green Palace. “If you can’t guard anybody, it does not matter what you do on the offensive end,” said a discouraged Coach Matt Botner.
The Bombers trailed 7-6 in the first quarter when the Cardinals started to put some distance between themselves and the Bombers. It was 18-12 when the Cardinals hit a big three point shot at the end of the first quarter that just took the steam out of the Bombers. The six point lead went to 21-12 at the end of the first quarter, and the Bombers just did not respond to the adversity. “We let one three point shot dictate how we were going to play and that is what kills us,” said Botner. The Bombers failed to put up much of a fight in the second quarter as the Cardinals took command and outscored the Bombers 25-7 in the quarter. Coach Botner said the Bomber’s just have not responded well to adversity and give up a lot of points in a short amount of time. “It’s boom, boom, boom,” said Botner adding, “That has been out biggest issue this year is our lack of defense.”
Trailing 46-19 at the half, the Bombers showed signs of life in the third quarter. Lee Chandler opened the quarter with a trey and Dre Bledsoe completed a three point play to provide some energy for the Bombers. Keagan Cooper’s field goal a short line later helped the Bombers outscore the Cardinals 8-2 to start the third quarter. Another three point bucket by Mayfield would provide some more cushion for a Cardinal 55-31 lead. The Bombers would again go on a mini run, outscoring the Cardinals 6-1 with Cody Newton, TJ Wray, and Zack McAfee getting buckets to get the lead below 20 at 56-37. The Bombers ended up outscoring the Cardinals 18-13 in the quarter, but still trailed 59-37 heading into the final quarter.
As Botner said, the Bombers give up too many points in short periods of time, and the Cardinals outscored the Bombers 9-0 to start the fourth quarter. The 31 point advantage at 68-37 would be the largest of the game for the home team. The Bombers would chip away at the huge deficit and were able to cut the final to 73-48. “We didn’t come with intensity,” said Botner as he added, “we had to come ready to play, but we didn’t come.” The win was Mayfield’s fourth in a row and they stand at 10-10 on the year and 2-1 in district play while the Bombers stand at 3-11 and 0-3 in district play. The Bombers failed to have a player reach double figures in scoring, but did have nine different players get into the scoring column. Bledsoe and Clay Newton would lead the way with nine each while Cooper added eight. Chandler would finish with seven and both Cody Newton and Toler Terrell added four each. Logan Suiter would get a trey late in the game and both Wray and McAfee had two each. The Cardinals would have four players score in double figures with Marshall Bacon leading the way with 19 points.
The Bombers had two games cancelled due to weather this past week as Thursday’s game against Cairo and Saturday’s at Calloway were called off. The Bombers wrap up the year with away games at Fulton City on the 10th, Graves County on the 11th, Carlisle County on the 14th, and Paducah Tilghman on the 20th. Their remaining home games are against Murray on Thursday the 13th, Fulton City again on the 17th, and Tuesday the 18th will be the home finale against Hickman County.