High School Basketball

Catholic, Ballard, Bowling Green advance to semifinals

Lexington Catholic Coach Brandon Salsman thought the numbers on the stat sheet told the story of the Knights' 69-45 victory over Elliott County in the quarterfinals of the Republic Bank Holiday Classic Tuesday night.

Salsman wasn't referring to points, rebounds, assists or turnovers, either. He was referring to minutes played.

Four Elliott County starters played more than 30 of 32 minutes while no Lexington Catholic player saw more than 18 minutes of action.

"We were able to wear them down," Salsman said. "They barely had any legs left in the fourth quarter.

"We've got quality depth this year, 13 guys who can play, and that's our strength."

Eleven Knights scored, led by Taylor Martin and Scott Schuette with 14 points apiece. Martin also had six steals and five rebounds.

Patrick Keller had 10 points and seven rebounds off the bench for Lexington Catholic.

The Knights' defense was a grind on Elliott County, forcing 23 turnovers and converting them into 24 points.

Elliott County star Timmy Knipp had 23 points, including 11 of 15 free throws. The 6-foot-8 senior, who has signed with Eastern Kentucky University, also had eight rebounds.

"He's a great player and showed it out there," Salsman said.

Only three other Elliott County players scored — Jacob Ison and Cody Nickell had 10 points each, and Logan Nickell had two.

Ballard 92, Covington Catholic 56: After CovCath had only nine turnovers in a first-round win over University Heights, Colonels Coach Mike Listerman warned that it would be a much different tempo game against Ballard.

It was.

Ballard used its quick feet and quick hands to force 31 turnovers, which the Bruins converted into 39 points in the rout.

Ballard (12-0) was at its best midway through the first half when it went on an 18-0 run to turn an 18-17 deficit into a 35-18 lead.

DeVante Parker, the football star who's showing he's a basketball standout too, led the Bruins with 18 points, including 3-for-4 on threes, seven steals and five rebounds.

Garry Biggers came off the bench to get 15 points on 7-for-7 shooting. Lavonne Holland added 15 points and Jordan Parrish added 11.

CovCath shot 52 percent, but it didn't get off enough shots with all of its turnovers. Jake Thelen led the Colonels with 24 points and eight rebounds. Alex Connelly had 15 points.

Bowling Green 76, Mercer County 60: An upset appeared to be brewing when Mercer County led the sixth-rated Purples by three late in the third quarter, but then it all fell apart for the Titans.

Bowling Green went on a 17-1 run, including a four-minute span when star Chane Behanan had to sit down with foul trouble.

Behanan, a 6-7 senior who has signed with Louisville, sparked the comeback with back-to-back dunks, but he got a technical foul for hanging on the rim on the second slam. Seconds later he picked up his fourth personal and went to the bench with Bowling Green ahead 51-48.

The Purples didn't flinch. They padded the lead to 56-49 before Behanan returned to help stretch the margin to 62-49.

Behanan finished with 18 points and seven rebounds.

Scooter Hollis led the winners with 19 points and eight rebounds.

Mercer County's Clay Cinnamon had 19 points, and Matthew Honchel had 15 points and seven rebounds.

ELLIOTT COUNTY (6-1) Knipp 23, Ison 10, C. Nickell 10, L. Nickell 2.

LEXINGTON CATHOLIC (10-1) Martin 14, Schuette 14, Beckham 9, Floyd 3, Whitman 6, Porter 5, Keller 10, Rowady 1, Muncie 2, Avare 3, Woomer 2.

Elliott County 10 11 11 13—45

Lexington Catholic 24 12 23 10—69

BALLARD (12-0) Parker 18, Parrish 11, Martin 9, Snider 4, Holland 12, Hardin 5, Sivils 1, Biggers 15, Yackey 5, Byrd 5, Martin 3, Lewis 4.

COVINGTON CATHOLIC (7-2) Thelen 24, Connelly 15, Baker 8, Hyden 4, Schult 2, Arnzen 3.

Ballard 27 12 31 22—92

Covington Catholic 18 10 13 15—56

MERCER COUNTY (6-3) — Cinnamon 19, Honchel 15, Banks 7, Sagraves 9, Lee 7, Compton 2, Buckner 1.

BOWLING GREEN (9-2) — Behanan 18, Hunter 8, Clement 10, Geegan 11, Hollis 19, Disney 5, Halcomb 5.

Mercer County 13 23 12 12—60

Bowling Green 15 16 18 27—76