- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Erin Boley and Quentin Snider realized that leadership was part of their on-court development, a discovery that was critical to deep postseason runs for their teams.

Boley, a sophomore guard/forward for Elizabethtown, is the girls’ player of the year while Snider, a senior point guard for Louisville Ballard, was named the top boys player in voting by members of The Associated Press.

Boley averaged 20.5 points and 9.6 rebounds per game for the Panthers, who reached the Girls Sweet 16 final.

After helping Ballard reach last year’s Boys Sweet 16 championship, Snider’s 21.3-point average led the Bruins’ run to the Region 7 final.

Covington Catholic’s Scott Ruthsatz and Louisville Butler’s Larry Just were named coaches of the year after guiding their teams to boys and girls state titles respectively.

“I felt like I had to take on more of a leadership role, and that helped in every area,” said the 6-foot-2 Boley, who was also named Gatorade Player of the Year. “My coach (Tim Mudd) helped in that area and he really gave me a lot of tips and pointers that improved my game.”

Boley shot 62 percent from the field, 43 percent from 3-point range and 83 percent from the foul line. Those impressive numbers resulted in a championship-game appearance against Butler before they lost 49-38. She heads to Colorado Springs, Colorado, this weekend for tryouts with the U.S. Under-17 team.

Snider, a 6-foot-1 point guard who’s committed to Louisville, followed up last year’s one-point loss to Madison Central in the state final by leading Ballard through a challenging schedule of local and national opponents. The Bruins’ hope of returning to the Sweet 16 fell short with a 59-58 loss to Louisville Trinity in the regional final but the court presence of Snider, the Region 7 player of the year, helped get them that far.

“I had to be more vocal because that was an issue as a junior,” said Snider, who was also named Mr. Basketball and will represent the state against Indiana all-stars on June 13 in Lexington.

“I was growing there, but coach (Tim) Renner helped bring out more of me and I grew a lot as a player. We didn’t get the goal we wanted, but the season was pretty good.”

Butler (32-3) was No. 1 in the AP’s final regular season poll and went on to its fourth state title and first since 2008 with a deep rotation and a defense that shut out Elizabethtown for the final 5:27 of the championship. Said Just of the season, “it was one of the most enjoyable years from day to day. Everybody enjoyed being around each other, and we felt this was the year we were going to put everything together.”

Covington Catholic (33-2) beat Scott County 59-51 in overtime to claim the school’s first championship in its first title-game appearance since 1967.

“It’s one of those things where there aren’t too many firsts in life anymore, so we had to take advantage of this opportunity to win the title,” said Scott Ruthsatz, whose son, Nick, earned MVP honors by scoring six of his 25 points in OT.

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