It took a while for No. 1 Ballard to break away from Johnson Central — it trailed midway through the second quarter — but it wound up pulling away for a 75-54 victory in the first round of the Sweet Sixteen in Rupp Arena Thursday night.
The Bruins finally got some breathing room by closing the first half on a 12-1 run.
Kelan Martin led the winners with 22 points. Junior point guard Quentin Snider, who has commited to Louisville, had 16 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Lavonne Holland had 12 points.
Johnson Central 6-8 junior Shane Hall, who has a scholarship offer from Tennessee, had a big first half with 19 points, including three dunks. He was limited to 9 points in the second half. He finished with 28 points and 8 rebounds (Johnson Central had him with 11 rebounds and 3 blocked shots).
Kyle Gullett added 11 points and 7 rebounds for the Golden Eagles. Braxton Blair had 10 points.
Ballard advances to Friday night’s quarterfinals against the winner of Knott Central and Clay County.