LEXINGTON, Ky. – Madison Central’s late push was not enough to overcome a 17-point fourth quarter deficit as Ballard advances 70-61 in the KHSAA Boys Sweet 16.
Ballard (20-2) showed its speed throughout the game and won numerous statistical categories, but Madison Central wouldn’t let the Bruins run away with the game like the first two games of the day.
After Ballard’s Keno Hayden scored two of his game-high 26 points at the 5:05 mark in the fourth quarter to put the Bruins up 58-41, Madison Central went on an 8-0 run over the next two minutes.
Madison Central (21-10) would then find itself behind by 15 with 2:31 to go in the game thanks to a Hayden 3-point play with 2:31 to go, but the Indians kept fighting and cut it down to 66-61 on a 12-2 run.
Hayden closed out the game with a pair of free throws and a dunk.
Ballard led 20-16 after the first quarter and kept Madison Central from scoring over the course of a 5:06 stretch in the second quarter.
Neither team shot particularly well from the field, but the difference in the game was the Bruins being able to use their athleticism to win the points off turnovers (16-6), points in the paint (42-20) and fast break points (14-2) categories.
Ballard narrowly outrebounded the Indians by a 37-34 count as the Indians had no answer for the Bruins’ Maker Bar, who hauled in 14 boards that accompanied his 11 points.
Gabe Sisk chipped in 19 points and seven rebounds for the Bruins.
Kole Browne led Madison Central in scoring with 21 points on just 6-for-16 shooting from the field.
Browne was 2-for-7 from long range and 7-of-10 from the charity stripe.
Jalen Davis scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half and collected seven rebounds.
Will Hardin closed out the double-figure scoring for the Indians with 15 points to go along with a team-high nine rebounds.
Ballard will now set its sights on a Bowling Green team that handily defeated University Heights early in the tournament 85-57.
The Ballard/Bowling Green quarterfinal game is set to begin on Fri., April 2 at 2 p.m.