Ballard's Snider, LaRue's Brown take Mr., Miss Basketball awards

mfields@herald-leader.comMarch 18, 2014 

Ivy Brown of LaRue County set school records in points, rebounds, steals and assists. Quentin Snider led Ballard to a state runner-up finish last year. He has signed with Louisville.

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  • MR. BASKETBALL

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    MISS BASKETBALL

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Quentin Snider of Ballard and Ivy Brown of LaRue County are Kentucky's Mr. and Miss Basketball for 2014.

They received their awards, sponsored by the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation, from former Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall at a banquet Tuesday night in the Bluegrass Ballroom at the Lexington Center. The event drew more than 400 people.

Snider said he nervously awaited the announcement, along with the other Mr. Basketball finalists — Ballard teammate Kelan Martin, Lafayette's Jackson Davis, Scott County's Trent Gilbert, Johnson Central's Shane Hall, Dixie Heights' Brandon Hatton and Perry County Central's Justin Johnson.

"My legs were shaking and my heart was pounding," Snider said. "This is a big honor for me, my family and Ballard."

Snider, a point guard who has signed with Louisville, led Ballard to a Sweet Sixteen runner-up finish as a junior. He averaged 22 points and six assists this season while leading the Bruins to the No. 1 ranking. They were upset by Trinity in last week's 7th Region finals.

"This takes a little of (the sting) off because this is a big reward," Snider said. "But I still recommend going to the state instead."

Snider is the third Ballard player to win Mr. Basketball, following in the footsteps of Jeff Lamp in 1977 and Allan Houston in 1989.

Ballard Coach Chris Renner said he thought Snider was the best player in a talented group of seniors.

"Any of the other candidates this year could've won Mr. Basketball in some past years. This was a great class, but I do think Quentin was the best of the class."

Brown, who has signed with WKU, averaged 24 points and 13 rebounds this season for 5th Region runner-up LaRue County.

"I think it's probably every little girl's dream to be Miss Basketball," she said. "I don't think there's a better way to represent Kentucky. It's a huge honor and I'm very excited."

Brown said she had "no clue" if her name would be called as the winner.

The other finalists were Makenzie Cann and Eriel McKee of Anderson County, DaiJia Ruffin of Sacred Heart, Javonna Layfield of Ballard, Kayla Rankin of Perry County Central and Nicole Kiernan of Newport Central Catholic.

"With all the other great athletes and great players, it was stiff competition," Brown said. "I knew I had a one-in-seven chance. I'm just happy it was me."

Brown finished her career with school records in points (2,906), rebounds (1,168), steals (622) and assists (439).

Blake Ellis of Russell County won the inaugural Wallace "Wah Wah" Jones Award at Tuesday night's banquet. It recognizes an outstanding multi-sport senior athlete in the state.

Ellis, a 4.0 student, played basketball and football at Russell County, and also runs track.

Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com.

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