LEXINGTON — Ballard moved on to Saturday’s KHSAA Boys’ Sweet 16 semifinals after holding off Bowling Green with a 61-53 victory on Friday.

Gabe Sisk led the Bruins with a 22-point, four-rebound effort while Kennedy Hayden followed with 14 points and six rebounds, and Chant Marrero turned in a 13-point, nine-rebound effort.

The eight-point win will set up a matchup between Ballard and Elizabethtown on Saturday.

The Bruins finished 22-of-51 from the floor, including a 6-of-16 effort from 3-point range while the Purples turned in a 20-of-62 shooting effort while hitting on only 4-of-21 3-point attempts.

Isaiah Mason led Bowling Green with 17 points while Jacobi Huddleston finished with 12 points and Turner Buttry added 11 points.

Sisk’s red-hot play during the first four minutes allowed Ballard to build a 14-2 during the game’s first four minutes. His 3-pointer at the 4:15 mark gave the Bruins a 12-point edge but Bowling Green responded with a 9-0 run to end the period. Buttry’s 3-pointer at the buzzer cut the Purples’ deficit to 14-11 entering the second quarter.

Bowling Green continued to make a push at taking the lead and finally did with 4:12 remaining in the half after a basket by Buttry gave his team a 17-16 advantage.

The lead changed hands once again after Sisk’s 3-pointer allowed Ballard to claim a 24-21 lead at the 2:01 mark. The Bruins extended their lead to five points before taking a 30-26 edge into the locker room at halftime.

Ballard maintained its lead throughout the third quarter before seeing the Purples score four points to cut their deficit to 41-38 with 1:01 remaining after two free throws by Buttry. A layup by Sisk pushed Ballard’s lead to five points (43-38) entering the fourth quarter.

A 3-pointer by Mason cut the Bruins’ lead to 48-43 with 5:54 remaining in the contest but Ballard responded with a 5-2 run, building a 43-43 advantage, while never looking back the remainder of the game.

2021 KHSAA Boys’ Sweet 16

at Rupp Arena


Ballard, Bowling Green

Bowling Green   11 15 12 15 53

Ballard               14 16 13 18 61

Bowling Green (53) — Masson 17, Banks 4, Huddleston 12, Buttry 11, Dingle 4, Wilson 5.

Ballard (61) — Marrero 13, Hayden 14, Tilford 7, Sisk 22, Bar 5.

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