GEORGETOWN — No. 1 Ballard got just what it was looking for in its season opener against No. 9 Scott County on Tuesday night.
Bruins Coach Chris Renner said Scott County's "exceptional effort" caused his team to look "unorganized, disoriented and out of sync," and it trailed the Cardinals 54-53 after three quarters.
But Ballard took over from there. It opened the fourth quarter with a 12-0 run that spurred it to a 79-70 victory.
"Our goal is to wear people out with our depth and defense," Renner said. "That 32 minutes of pressure gave them trouble and allowed us to have that one run that was the difference in the game."
Ballard's Quentin Snider, Kelan Martin and Lavonne Holland, who averaged 46 points among them last season, played like veterans and combined for 53 points.
Snider, a 6-foot-1 junior guard who has committed to Louisville, had 18 points, five rebounds and five steals.
Martin, a 6-6, 245-pound swingman and a tough matchup for Scott County, also had 18 points.
Holland, a 6-0 senior guard, had 17 points and five rebounds.
"I look for them to score between 45 and 60 points a night for us," Renner said. "They've could've done a better job tonight in the first half with shot selection."
Scott County, which returns its backcourt of Quin Richardson and Trent Gilbert from last year's state runner-up team, gave the Bruins fits for three quarters.
The Cards got a lift from a lot of people in the first half — 10 players scored — and Ballard led by just 32-30.
Richardson ended the third quarter by hitting a three-pointer to give Scott County a 54-53 lead.
Ballard took its cue at that point.
"We turned it up on them," Snider said. "We all came together with a run."
The Bruins' 12-0 flurry included a three-point play by Holland, a pull-up jumper in the lane by Snider, and a dunk by Jalen Perry.
Scott County never got closer than eight the rest of the way.
Cards Coach Billy Hicks thought fatigue caught up with his team, especially with Richardson, who ran the point and had to handle the ball most of the night.
"Quin got so tired," Hicks said. "We ran out of timeouts and weren't able to rest him. That's when we made some careless turnovers, and that was the ball game."
Richardson finished with 23 points. Gilbert had a rough shooting night — 1-for-8 on his specialty threes — and wound up with 11 points.
Jalen Haddix contributed 10 points off the bench.
Jordan Tribble, a 6-9 transfer from Florida, had seven points and seven rebounds in a promising debut.
"He's come as far in a couple months as any player I've ever coached," Hicks said. "He wants to get better, and he has the talent to get better."
But on this night, Ballard's talent trumped the Cards.
"You can see why they're No. 1," Hicks said. "They keep coming at your with so much athleticism, and they're so well coached. That's a tough combination."
This was the eighth year in a row these traditional powers have met in the first week of the season. Ballard has now won four in a row.
BALLARD (1-0) — Snider 18, Martin 18, Holland 17, Perry 13, Caggins 8, Byrd 5.
SCOTT COUNTY (0-1) — Richardson 23, Gilbert 11, Haddix 10, Page 2, Portwood 3, Martini 5, Short 4, Murray 2, Tribble 7, Crank 2.
Ballard 17 15 21 26—79
Scott County 15 15 24 16—70
Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com