March 17, 2015 Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports)
Ballard Bruins motivated for Boys’ Sweet 16
Two years ago, March 10, 2013 the heavy favorite Ballard Bruins were so close to winning a state title they could taste it. Madison Central’s Ken-Jah Bosley 3-point shot with under 5 seconds remaining, sent the Bruins home with a 65-64 loss in the 2013 KHSAA Boys’ State Championship game. Current Ballard seniors, Jalen Perry, Corey Douglas, and Paul Schiavone were only sophomores at the time of the heartbreaking defeat.
“That 2013 State Championship loss set a fire in us to get right back there.” said Bruins 6’2 guard Jalen Perry. “We never took it for granted, it just didn’t end the way we wanted it to. We have another chance now.”
Not only does No. 2 Louisville Ballard have a chance, they will be the KHSAA Boys’ Sweet 16 favorite to get back to the title game and win it all. The Bruins (31-2) haven’t loss to anyone in Kentucky this year. Their only two losses came to out-of-state teams Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fl) on the road and St. Johns’ out of the Washington DC area earlier this year in the King of the Bluegrass Tournament. The St. John’s loss in the King of the Bluegrass is the last time the Bruins have suffered defeat, as they’re on a state’s best 26 game winning streak. What have been their keys to success this year?
“I feel like some of the keys to our success this year have been great preparation for each game” and always going out on that court and playing our hardest no matter the score.” Perry said.
Hard-work and dedication definitely was the key to the Bruins making it back to the KHSAA Boys’ Sweet 16, because they had to overcome some adversity to reach this opportunity in front of them. Trailing to the Manual Crimson by 20 points in the 2nd quarter of the 7th Region title game, Louisville Ballard rallied back to force over-time were they would eventually win by a final score of 67-61 to advance to the Boys’ Sweet 16. Jalen informed me, he thinks the slow starts in games sometimes comes from teams throwing different things at the Bruins defensively that they have to come together on and figure out.
The Ballard Bruins as a school have won a total of 3 titles in its history 1977, ’88, and 1999. The 2015 Bruins will begin their quest to end the 16 year state title drought Thursday March 19th at noon against Johnson Central (23-9) at the historic Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. They will also be fueled by the 2013 loss that currently gives Jalen, and the Bruins motivation to get back to the state title game. As far as the song that normally gets the team hyped before each game, I’ll let Jalen explain it.
“The team gets hyped off of two songs they listen to before every game. One of them is a Fergie song. They’re silly I just sit there and laugh at them.”
Don’t let the Fergie song fool you, because this team is tough enough to bring home the school’s 4th state championship, especially if they let that fire inside them carry them back to the title game. Bring it home Ballard, you guys deserve it.
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