HUXLEY – A great transition game helped the Ballard boys’ basketball team overcome a poor night on the boards to defeat Adel-Desoto-Minburn, 74-64, Friday in Huxley.
Ballard picked up several points off a fastbreaks during the game. Many of those came after the Bombers caught ADM napping after a made Tiger basket.
"Pushing the ball and tempo is always key for us," Ballard head coach Chris Deason said. "That was one of our three keys for tonight - we had to be able to get the ball up the floor. ADM has been pushing the ball a lot harder than the first time we played them, and that was good for us. We were excited about that."
At first it looked as if Ballard’s fast-paced attack was going to blow ADM out of the building.
A pull-up jumper from Mason Jensen gave Ballard a 19-10 lead early in the second quarter. A few minutes later, Mason Edwards drained a 3-pointer from the corner to give the Bombers their biggest advantage of the first half at 24-13.
But ADM used a strong effort on the offensive glass to pull within three with a little over two minutes left in the half. At halftime, Ballard was holding a slim 32-28 lead.
In the third quarter Ballard pushed its lead back to 10 on a pair of Jacob Nethers free throws with 3:02 remaining in the quarter. But ADM refused to go away.
A 3-pointer from Jackson VerWoert pulled the Tigers within 48-44 early in the fourth quarter. Later in the quarter, six straight points from Jensen helped Ballard match its biggest lead at 60-49, but ADM was able to creep back within six in the final two minutes.
Free throws helped Ballard hang on down the stretch. The Bombers were 12 of 12 at the line in the last 1:31 to seal the deal, improving to 10-5 overall and 8-2 in the Raccoon River Conference.
The constant fastbreaks helped Ballard shoot at a strong 52-percent clip from the field (22 of 42). The Bombers also got to the line 37 times and made 26.
ADM finished with 16 turnovers against the aggressive pressure defense by Ballard. But the Tigers outrebounded the Bombers by a 38-25 margin, including a huge 18-6 margin on the offensive glass.
"The first number I put on the board when I went in after the game was 18," Deason said. "Our goal is giving up four (offensive rebounds) a game, so we’ve got a lot of work to do to get that shored up. It’s an effort thing, being conscious about finding a guy and making a determined effort to get him boxed out."
Jensen paced Ballard with an impressive 30-point outing. He made 10 of 13 field goals and 10 of 18 free throws, reaching the 30-point mark for the second time in his senior season.
"My teammates are putting me in good positions to score," Jensen said. "Jacob (Nethers) has been shooting the ball really well, so anytime I can get a drive in his lane it’s either a layup for me or a shot for him. We’re all taking advantage of our shots."
Jensen said he also benefits from Ballard’s up-tempo game.
"Coach Deason stresses a lot about running," Jensen said. "Anytime we can get open in transition, we feel that’s a good opportunity for us to get a basket."
Jensen also had five rebounds, three assists and one block.
Nethers and Nick Hartman scored 11 points apiece, Edwards netted 10 and Kolby Jensen finished with nine for Ballard. Nethers also had three assists, Hartman took three charges and pulled down four rebounds, Edwards snared six boards and Kolby came away with two steals.
Logan Essy paced ADM with 25 points, five rebounds and four assists. Kyle Ferguson hit three 3-pointers and finished with nine points and Robbie, Joe and Jake Sloss each put up seven for the Tigers, who fell to 4-12 overall and 3-7 in the RRC.
Ballard 74, ADM 64
ADM 10 18 13 23 – 64
B 17 15 16 26 – 74
ADM (64) – Robbie Sloss 3-12 1-2 7, Jackson VerWoert 1-4 0-0 3, Blake Crannell 0-0 0-0 0, Kyle Ferguson 3-7 0-0 9, Logan Essy 7-11 11-13 25, Joe Sloss 3-5 0-0 9, , Jacob Hardy 0-0 0-0 0, Johnny Reel 2-6 2-2 6, Elijah McCartney 0-0 0-0 0, Jake Sloss 2-8 3-5 7. Totals: 21-56 17-22 64. 3-point field goals (5): Ferguson 3, R. Sloss, Jo. Sloss. Rebounds (38): R. Sloss 9. Assists (4): Essy 4. Steals (3): Ferguson, Jo. Sloss, Ja. Sloss. Blocks: None.
Ballard (74) – Mason Jensen 10-13 10-18 30, Tanner Petersen 0-1 0-0 0, Mason Edwards 4-6 0-0 10, Jaden Moody 0-1 1-2 1, Kolby Jensen 3-8 3-4 9, Jacob Nethers 1-6 8-8 11, Cole Wilson 0-0 0-0 0, Nathan Carlin 0-0 2-2 2, Nick Hartman 4-7 2-3 11. Totals: 22-42 26-37 74. 3-point field goals (4): Edwards 2, Nethers, Hartman. Rebounds (25): Edwards 6. Assists (9): M. Jensen 3, Nethers 3. Steals (3): K. Jensen 2. Blocks (3): M. Jensen, Moody, Nethers.
PERRY – A back-and-forth game between Ballard and Perry Jan. 28 saw the Bombers have the last laugh in pulling off an exciting 64-63 road victory.
Ballard trailed by 13 points during the second quarter, but pulled within three by halftime. The Bombers built a seven-point lead during the third quarter, but Perry closed within one by the end of the quarter.
The two teams exchanged blows at an even rate in the final period. Big baskets from Mason Jensen and Jacob Nethers helped Ballard maintain a one-point lead with 25 seconds left.
Perry had the ball with a chance to take the lead, but Nick Hartman drew a big charge to give Ballard possession. Jensen was fouled with 5.2 seconds left, but he missed the front end of a one-and-one.
The miss turned out to be inconsequential as Jensen’s younger brother Kolby came up with a huge steal on a long pass down court by Perry. Kolby ran out the clock to secure a big Raccoon River Conference victory for the Bombers.
Ballard shot 47 percent from the field, compared to Perry’s 40-percent showing, and the Bombers also did better from the line, making 14 of 18 foul shots against the Bluejays’ 8 of 13 free-throw shooting display. That helped Ballard overcome Perry’s big edge in field-goal attempts as the Bluejays got off 61 shots to the Bombers’ 48.
The main reason for Perry’s big edge in shots was its ability to control the boards. Perry outrebounded Ballard by a 39-28 margin, including 17-6 on the offensive glass.
Ballard was also helped by winning the turnover battle. The Bombers finished with 12 miscues to Perry’s 16.
Mason Jensen had 21 points, five assists and three rebounds and Mason Edwards put up 19 points, grabbed eight rebounds and delivered two steals to lead Ballard. Kolby added 12 points and three steals; Nethers had seven points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists and Hartman chipped in five points and four rebounds.
Cavan Finn led Perry with 21 points and he also had eight rebounds, two assists and two steals. Shammond Ivory tacked on 17 points, three steals and two assists; Will Whiton tallied five points, eight rebounds and five assists and Scott James pulled down 10 rebounds for the Bluejays.
Ballard 64, Perry 63
B 13 18 16 17 – 64
P 23 11 12 17 – 63
Ballard (64) – Nathan Carlin 0-1 0-0 0, Cole Wilson 0-0 0-0 0, Jaden Moody 0-0 0-0 0, Nick Hartman 2-3 1-2 5, Chase Seibert 0-0 0-0 0, Tanner Petersen 0-1 0-0 0, Mason Jensen 8-17 4-5 21, Kolby Jensen 4-9 2-4 12, Jacob Nethers 2-8 2-2 7, Mason Edwards 7-9 5-5 19. Totals: 23-48 14-18 64. 3-point field goals (4): K. Jensen 2, M. Jensen, Nethers. Rebounds (28): Edwards 8. Assists (9): M. Jensen 5. Steals (8): K. Jensen 3, Nethers 3. Blocks: None.
Perry (63) – Blake Lansing 3-7 0-0 7, Scott James 1-4 2-4 4, Zach Roberts 1-2 0-0 2, Ben Daniels 2-5 0-0 4, Cavan Finn 8-16 1-2 21, Alex Long 0-1 1-1 1, Shammond Ivory 7-13 3-4 17, Nic Wilhelmi 1-1 0-0 2, Will Whiton 2-12 1-2 5, Ryan Rathje 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 25-61 8-13 63. 3-point field goals (5): Finn 4, Lansing. Rebounds (39): James 10. Assists (9): Whiton 5. Steals (9): Daniels 3, Ivory 3. Blocks (1): James.