Tim Taylor, KPI Staff
The Ballard Memorial defense failed to contain the Mayfield Cardinals as the Cardinals cruised to a 70-47 district win over the Bombers on January 14th at the Green Palace.
The Bombers fell behind 4-0 when Clay Newton went strong to the basket to get a bucket and drew the foul. He hit the free throw to complete the three point play to trim the lead to one. The Cardinals would score a couple of more easy buckets to push the lead back to five. Cody Newton made a bucket plus drew a foul, but was unable to convert the free throw leaving the Bombers down 8-5. As the Cardinals appeared to score at will, the Bombers struggled to get into their sets and could not convert their shots. The Cardinals outscored the Bombers 11-2 during that span to claim the 21-7 advantage. Toler Terrell came off the bench to hit a trey to cut the lead to 21-10, but the Cardinals would score the last four points of the quarter to claim the 25-10 advantage after one period.
The second quarter did not fare much better for the Bombers. They only managed to score seven points on one field goal and five free throws in the second eight minutes of play. The Cardinals were able to score 14 more points in the period and had the commanding 37-19 halftime lead.
The Cardinals would not let up as they started the third quarter outscoring the Bombers 15-4 to begin the second half to extend the lead to 54-21. Zach McAfee would score a couple of field goals and Lee Chandler hit a pair of free throws to trim six points off the lead. The Cardinals would not be deterred as they pushed the lead back to 61-31 by the end of the third period.
The only thing in doubt would be the final score as the Cardinals would continue to show their dominance over the Bombers. The Cardinals would build the lead back to 32 before the Bombers would manage to start making a few shots. The Bombers would outscore the Cardinals in the final eight minutes 16-9, but it was way too little, too late as the Cardinals claimed the easy 70-47 victory. The Bombers know that in order to make the regional tournament this year, Mayfield will be the team they have to beat to advance. This game was a huge disappointment for the Bombers in the lack of urgency the team played with and the inability to stop any phase of the Cardinal attack. The Bombers stand at 1-8 on the year and 0-2 in district play. Keagan Cooper was the only Bomber in double figure scoring with 11. McAfee finished with eight, and Dre Bledsoe finished with seven in the contest. Lee Chandler ended the night with five as both TJ Wray and Logan Suiter finished with four. Clay Newton and Terrell both concluded the game with three and Cody Newton had two points.
Ballard Memorial begins their All A Tournament on Wednesday night, January 22 against Hickman County. The number four seed Falcons enter the game with a 5-8 record and winners of two in a row. The Bombers will have to find answers on the defensive end of the floor and find a way to make some stops. Ballard Memorial has only held two of their nine opponents to less than 70 points on the year while only scoring more than 70 only once themselves. This team has potential to make some noise in the All A, but they have played well under that potential so far. What better time to play up to their ability than with the All A Tournament run and it starts Wednesday night at 6:00 at Paducah Tilghman High School.