LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) A well-meaning tongue lashing at halftime is
all it took to inspire Scott County guard Bud Mackey to take over
Mackey's 22 points helped Scott County rally for a 56-50 victory against Ballard to win the school's second state championship on Saturday night at Rupp Arena.
Mackey scored 11 of the Cardinals' 16 points in the fourth quarter and gave the Cardinals their first lead since early in the second quarter when he made two free throws making it 51-50 with 3:10 remaining.
From there the Bruins (35-3) couldn't score a basket and Scott County made 3-of-7 free throws to preserve the victory.
"It feels great to be a state champion," Mackey said. "We haven't been beaten by a Kentucky team all year. To me, it's a perfect season."
Matt Walls added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Cardinals, who end the season 34-2 after winning their first championship since 1998.
After scoring just two points in the first half, Scott County head coach Billy Hicks challenged Mackey to put the team on his shoulders and play the way he is capable of playing.
Mackey said it was the "hardest" Hicks had ever yelled at him and gave him "a funny feeling in my stomach."
"It worked this time," Hicks said as he smiled. "He's a competitive kid, a tough kid. He took his game to another level."
Scott County trailed by as many as seven in the fourth quarter before Mackey heated up.
Trailing 49-44, he scored seven straight points to help the Cardinals take over the game. This was the second time the two teams met in the title game with Ballard capturing the crown in 1999.
In their only meeting during the regular season, Scott County beat Ballard 88-67 on Dec. 1, 2006.
Johonne Hamilton led Ballard with 13 and Jonathan Gholson added 10 points.
The Bruins forced the Cardinals to commit eight turnovers in the second quarter and out-scored them by seven in the period for a 27-24 advantage at halftime.
Ballard scored the first nine points including six from Hamilton in the second quarter for a 21-16 lead.
Scott County didn't score its first points in the period until Cam Hundley made one free throw with 4:39 remaining before the break making it 21-17.
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