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December 29, 2012
Ballard wins Kingdom of the Sun
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OCALA -- All hail to the Bluegrass State.
In a match-up of one of the top teams in the Sunshine State against the top overall team in Kentucky, for the first time in the 39-year history of the Kingdom of the Sun boys' basketball tournament, the state of Kentucky will take home a title.
At Ocala Vanguard on Saturday night, Louisville Ballard held off Deerfield Beach, 72-67, as senior Lavone Holland scored a game-high 27 points, including 13 in the opening quarter.
The Bucks (19-2) rallied from a double-digit deficit behind South Alabama signee Terrence Johnson's 21 points and Lamar signee Marcus Owens (14 points), but the Bruins hit 4-of-6 free throws with under 34 seconds remaining to win the championship.
In 1990, Lexington Lafayette reached the finals, followed by Louisville Butler in 1997, but neither team won the title. Ballard's win also snapped three straight titles by Florida programs.
In the third-place game, Cincinnati LaSalle, which lost to Deerfield Beach on Friday night, got 18 points from junior Jeffrey Larkin in a 78-57 win over Greensboro West Gadsden.
Larkin was one of four players in double figures for the Lancers (5-5), followed by his brother Jeremy (13 points), a freshman, junior Tim Bell (10) and senior Connor Speed (10).
Orlando Boone (11-4) took fifth place, following a 65-51 win over Morgan County (GA).
Junior B.J. Taylor scored 18 of his game-high 28 points in the second half in earning all-tournament offers, along with Tookie Brown, who led the Bulldogs (9-4) in the loss with 26.
One of the best games of the day was in the consolation championship game.
Memphis signee Rashawn Powell made two free throws with 17 seconds remaining as Orlando Dr. Phillips edged Coral Springs Christian, 68-67. Powell made 11-of-23 shots, including 9-for-11 from the foul line, on his way to 33 points for the Panthers (11-4).
But game-high honors goes to Long Island signee Nura Zanna, who despite missing 14 free throws, scored 40 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for the Crusaders (10-5). He was 12-of-15 from the floor in earning all-tournament honors, along with Powell.
It was the most points scored by a player since Lecanto's Nick Cortes scored 43 points against St. Petersburg Lakewood in 2008 and the most free throws attempted in a single game (30).
Here are the results from all four days of the tournament & the All-Tournament Team:
Wednesday, December 26 - Day #1
Gainesville 60, Coral Springs Christian 57
Thursday, December 27 - Day #2
Panama City Rutherford 55, Miami Senior 51
Friday, December 28 - Day #3
Orlando Dr. Phillips 69, Ocala Forest 33
Saturday, December 29 - Day #4
Orlando Dr. Phillips 68, Coral Springs Christian 67 (Consolation Championship)
MVP - Kelan Martin (Louisville Ballard, KY)
Watch the replay of all of the games online at Prepzone Online.