Bomber boys show off depth in win over Gilbert: No. 4 Ballard cruises to 76-39 road victory

Joe Randleman
Tri-County Times
Kade Miller had nine points and 10 rebounds off the bench for No. 4 Ballard in a 76-39 victory at Gilbert Dec. 22.

GILBERT - On Dec. 22 No. 4 (Class 3A) Ballard showed it was just more than a three-man show in a 76-39 victory over Gilbert.

The Bombers have played two games since a 59-58 overtime loss at home to No. 2 Carroll. They have won those contests by an average of 37.5 points - also crushing Kuemper Catholic by an 87-49 score at home Dec. 19.

Ballard (6-1) knows it has one of the best trios in the entire state in ‘Run AMC’ - wing Ashton Hermann, point guard Mason Murphy and forward Connor Drew. So the Bombers have been focusing on finding more options and building better depth this season and the last two games provided the perfect opportunities to do just that.

“We’re trying to get better each day,” Ballard head coach Jeff Schertz said. “Whether it’s the guy who comes in first or our ninth guy. We want our team opportunities to get out there and get live-game action, which this year is happening a little bit for us. It’s building our depth.”

Seniors Isaiah Peasley and Kade Miller led the charge against Kuemper Catholic and Gilbert.

Peasley earned his first start against Kuemper and responded by hitting 4 of 5 3-pointers and scoring 12 points.

“I’ve just been feeling it,” Peasley said. “I feel like I’ve stepped up in practice and I’ve proved it in the game.” 

He added five points and three assists against Gilbert and is averaging 6.3 points on the year. He credits the immense talent of Hermann, Murphy and Drew for creating opportunities for him and his other teammates to shine.

“They’re the three main offensive guys so usually we have the worst defenders on us,” Peasley said. “And they space everything out, which makes us look better.”

Miller had his best outing against Gilbert. He went for nine points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

“I do my job on the floor,” Miller said. “I do whatever Coach asks of me. I just put everything on the floor for them.”

Miller is averaging 3.4 points and 3.1 rebounds. He provides an athletic 6-7 body inside to spell the 6-6 Drew and 6-5 Krogh.

“In practice I get to bang with Connor and Kale,” Miller said. “I’ve got to do whatever I can to get my advantages.”

Senior Sam Petersen is also starting to come into form after missing the early part of the season with an injury. He had seven points against Gilbert.

Ballard's Sam Petersen goes up for a shot over Gilbert's Birk Hanson during the Bombers' 76-39 win over the Tigers Dec. 22 at Gilbert. Petersen had seven points in the win.

Gilbert head coach B.J. Terrones took note of how deep Ballard was following his team’s loss Tuesday. The Bombers’ attitude caught the Tiger coach’s attention.

“They played with confidence,” Terrones said. “For a team that is able to play that well and has that type of depth and they are really able to fire on all cylinders when that happens.” 

Murphy had 23 points and four assists for Ballard against Gilbert. Hermann added 10 points and six steals, Kale Krogh nine points and rebounds apiece plus two blocks and Drew six points and 10 rebounds in helping Ballard improve to 4-1 in the Raccoon River Conference.

The Bombers head into Christmas break looking to keep building up their depth in hopes they will be even stronger the next time they play Carroll (Jan. 29) and then peak in the postseason.

“As the season goes on you can just feel the chemistry between the guys on the team growing and growing,” Miller said. “Can’t wait for what’s to come.”

Gilbert fell to 3-4 overall and 3-3 in the conference. Tanner Henningsen had 16 points and seven rebounds, Chris Zoz tallied six points and four boards and Easton Johnson finished with four points and nine rebounds for the Tigers.

Ballard 76, Gilbert 39

B   26   24   11   15 - 76

G    8    13   10    8 - 39

Ballard (76) - Mason Murphy 10-19 1-4 23, Isaiah Peasley 2-3 0-1 5, Ashton Hermann 4-10 0-1 10, Connor Drew 2-9 1-2 6, Kale Krogh 4-7 1-2 9, Alex Upah 0-1 0-0 0, Sam Petersen 3-5 0-0 7, Kyler Watson 0-2 0-0 0, Colby Calvert 1-2 0-0 2, Kade Miller 3-4 3-3 9, Jacob Ross 1-1 0-0 3, Jacob Ihle 0-0 2-2 2, Bryce Haessig 0-1 0-0 0, Jayden Cattell 0-3 0-0 0. Totals: 30-67 8-15 76. 3-point field goals (8): Murphy 2, Hermann 2, Peasley, Drew, Petersen, Ross. Rebounds (41): Drew 10, Miller 10. Assists (13): Murphy 4. Steals (12): Hermann 6. Blocks (3): Krogh 2. Fouls: 7.

Gilbert (39) - Birk Hanson 1-7 0-0 2, Tony Terrones 2-10 1-2 5, Tanner Henningsen 7-14 1-1 16, Easton Johnson 1-2 2-3 4, Ethan Vesey 1-7 0-0 3, Trenton Forth 0-0 0-0 0, Spencer Clatt 0-4 0-0 0, Owen Kautman 1-3 1-1 3, Justin Terry 0-2 0-0 0, Alex Ruba 0-0 0-0 0, Owen O’Brien 0-1 0-0 0, Chris Zoz 3-6 0-0 6, Sean Burns 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-56 5-7 39. 3-point field goals (2): Henningsen, Vesey. Rebounds (39): Johnson 9. Assists (8): Terrones 3. Steals (4): Clatt 2. Blocks (3): Johnson, Terry, Zoz. Fouls: 15.