By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter
The Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds boys basketball team contained the top-ranked Louisville Ballard Bruin offense in the first half.
The Thoroughbreds built a 43-34 halftime lead as a result. But the Bruins came alive in the second half to score 55 points on their way to an 89-71 win in the King of the Bluegrass semifinals at Louisville Fairdale on Sunday to hand NewCath (5-1) its first loss of the year.
The Bruins (8-1) made 31-of-58 shots for 53 percent overall, including 12-of-26 from three-point range for 46 percent. The Thoroughbreds outshot them percentage-wise making 29-of-52for 56 percent. But they only made 7-of-18 three-point tries for 39 percent.
Ballard saw five players reach double-digits. Kelan Martin and Quentin Snider led the way with 26 and 19 points respectively. Jalen Perry followed with 11 with Malik Dow and Rijad Kovacevic scoring 10 each.
Ballard won the rebounding battle 34-25. Martin grabbed 12 for a double-double.
The Thoroughbreds saw three players reach double-digits. Jake Schulte led the way with 23. Teammate Tanner Moeves made five three-pointers on his way to 17 points and Drew McDonald scored 15 points.
Free throws once again hurt NewCath. The Thoroughbreds made 6-of-17 for 35 percent and the Bruins hit 15-of-19 for 79 percent.
NewCath takes on Louisville Pleasure Ridge Park (5-2) for third place in the tournament today back at Fairdale. Game time is 6 p.m.