MAYFIELD - After three tight quarters on its home court against Ballard Memorial in the Third District Tournament, Mayfield's boys basketball team needed something big in the fourth to keep from getting swept out of playoff basketball after just one Tuesday night. Lane Kennemore was just what the Cardinals and their faithful needed.
The sophomore guard scored all eight of his points in the final period. Most came on back-to-back 3-pointers that smashed open a close game and led to a 67-51 victory for Mayfield.
In the evening's first game, the Lady Cardinals rallied late but fell to the Lady Bombers 50-43.
Both of Tuesday's victors will play Graves County teams for the girls championship on Thursday and the boys crown on Friday. Both games will start at 7 at the Mayfield High School Sports Arena,
The Cardinals led by three after the third quarter when Cody Newton scored the first basket of the fourth for the Bombers. On the Cardinals' next two possessions, Kennemore got open along the left-center of the 3-point arc and made the shots that gave Mayfield a somewhat comfortable lead.
"He made two big shots for us," Cardinal coach Chris Guhy said afterward. "That spread the score out a little bit. It's great to have kids who want to take that shot. Lane and Nick Felts both want to take those shots."
Felts nailed a 3-pointer with just under four minutes left for a 51-39 Mayfield lead. The Cardinals would secure and expand that edge by going 16-for-18 from the foul line in the fourth and 27-for-34 for the game. Marshall Bacon led the Mayfield onslaught with 24 points while Deante Love finished with 13. Clay Newton came off the bench to lead Ballard with 17 points. Dre Bledsoe and Cody Newton both had 11 points for the Bombers with Bledsoe hitting his team's only 3-pointer in the fourth.
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Ballard Memorial 9 24 35 51
Mayfield 13 25 38 67
BALLARD - C. Newton 11, Cooper 8, Bledsoe 11, Cl. Newton 17, Chandler, Wray, Terrell, Langston 2, Parsons, Houston, Suiter 2.
Field goals 20/43. 3-pointers 1/8 (Bledsoe). Free throws 10/13. Record 4-17.
MAYFIELD - Bacon 24, Love 13, Guhy, Sexton, Kennemore 8, Ballard 9, Kirby, Roman 1, Felts 8, Tyler, Downing 4, Lumson.
Field goals 18/38. 3-pointers 4/8 (Felts 2, Kennemore 2). Free throws 27/34. Record 12-14.
Ballard 50, Mayfield 43 - At Mayfield, Ballard Memorial did plenty in the middle of the game to offset a hot start and a strong finish by Mayfield.
Hailey Houston led a balanced Lady Bomber attack with 12 points while Abbi Denton had 11. Ballard played its best in the third with a 13-4 run against the Lady Cardinals that led to a 40-27 lead entering the fourth.
Mayfield fought its way back in the final period with Samantha Looper and Madison Womack each making a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to four. Ballard got enough free throws from MacKenzie Blackford and Ashleigh Tyson to secure the win.
It was a far cry from the start of the game, where the Lady Bombers kept losing the ball before they could take a shot and the Lady Cardinals took advantage. Samiya Kendrick hit back-to-back 3-pointers for a 13-2 Mayfield edge with 2:53 left in the first quarter. After Ballard coach Kayla Vance called time to settle her team down, it responded by scoring the final six points of the period. The Lady Bombers were only down three entering the second, where threes from Abbi Denton and Shelby Rollings ensured they would not trail again.
Looper and Kendrick were among the six seniors playing their final home game for the Lady Cardinals. Looper led the way with 17 points, while Kendrick finished with 13 as both players sank a trio of treys.
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Ballard Memorial 10 27 40 50
Mayfield 13 23 27 43
BALLARD - Rollings 5, Young, Denton 11, Blackford 9, Houston 12, Tyson 6, Shelley 7.
Field goals 16/40. 3-pointers 3/12 (Blackford, Denton, Rollings). Free throws 15/23. Record 14-12.
MAYFIELD - Isbell 4, Olive 2, Kendrick 13, Guthrie, Womack 7, Looper 17, Daniel, Dickerson.
Field goals 13/46. 3-pointers 8/19 (Looper 3, Kendrick 3, Womack 2). Free throws 9/14. Record 9-17.
Contact Jon Futrell, a Paducah Sun sports writer, at 270-575-8664.