Barberton’s Magical Start Downs Leps 48-45
Barberton 48, Louisville 45
The Leopards dug themselves a double digit hole early and could not quite climb out of it. Louisville fell to Barberton 48-45 in the final game of the Greynolds Classic Tournament Thursday Night at Barberton High School. Despite the loss, Toby Minster still earned player of the game honors with 16 points and Owen Gramoy poured in 14.
The fast pace of the NBC met the slow pace of the Suburban League early in the first quarter as Barberton held Louisville off the scoreboard for the first four minutes of the contest. The Magics also reached into their bag of tricks on offense and pulled out two three-balls from Josh North and Eric Hummel. Just like that Barberton led 10-0 and Louisville Head Coach Tom Siegfried quickly called timeout.
Louisville began climbing out of the deep hole they dug right away when Toby Minster made an easy lay-in. A few possessions later Gramoy hit home a three-ball to cut the lead to 12-7. On the ensuing possession, Minster got another huge swat on the defensive end giving the ball back to the Leopards. But they would do nothing with it and Barberton would go on a 5-0 run to close the quarter, giving them a 17-7 lead.
Barberton extended their lead to 23-12, before the Leopards put together a small 5-0 run of their own. But the Leopards gave up a huge layup and foul to Barberton’s DJ Phillips with just 1.7 remaining in the half. Phillips completed the three-point play and the Magics led 26-17 at the break.
A few possessions into the second half Barberton’s Anthony Keys picked off a Louisville pass, took it all the way to the other end, but missed the layup. However, Barberton’s Scott Sabol was right there to clean up the mess and bank it home to give Barberton their biggest lead of the night at 31-19.
Just when all seemed lost for the Leopards, they put together a 16-4 run to tie the game early in the fourth quarter. A long rebound off a missed Barberton three-pointer led to a Gramoy to Minster fast break score to start the run. Minster scored 8 of his team-high 16 points in the third period, and Gramoy would later hit a three-pointer to cut the Magics lead to 35-31. Minster scored on another dish from Gramoy to shrink the deficit to two points heading into the final period.
Barberton did not panic and remained patient though. Two minutes into the period Mike Kelly drove to the basket, and scored for Louisville tying the game at 35-35. However, the Magics answered right back with a three-pointer by Keys. Keys would finish with a team-high 10 points and later would earn the player of the game award for Barberton. Not to be outdone though, Gramoy ran across the left wing to the foul line and caught a pass from Rocco Buccasso. He then dribbled back a step and nonchalantly nailed his third triple of the contest to tie the game back up at 38-38.
However, the Magics would score 7 of the next 8 points to take a commanding lead. The Leps fought back to within one point thanks to a put-back by Kelly, and a layup and one from Michael Schooley. Fortune continued to go the Leopards way when a defensive lapse allowed Keys an easy layup, which he botched. After a timeout, the Leopards threw the ball away to Barberton, but managed to miraculously get the ball right back after they forced a jump ball. The Leopards patiently used the majority of the remaining clock and got the shot they wanted. Buccasso put up a jumper just behind the center of the three-point line. The ball wiggled around the rim, but fell out.
Sam Jerome flushed home two more free throws for the Magics to give them a 48-45 lead and one final three-point heave by Kelly in the left corner rattled off the rim and bounced out. Louisville finished a dismal 3 of 16 from beyond the arch and fittingly came up one long ball short of Barberton.
LEOPARDS: Minster 7 2-3 16, Gramoy 4 3-4 14, Kelly 3 0-0 6, Schooley 1 4-5 6, Buccasso 1 0-0 2, Sluss 0 1-4 1
Individual 3PT: Gramoy (3)
Team Field Goals: 16-45 36%
Team 3PT% (3-16 19%)
Team FT: 10-16 63%
MAGICS: Keys 3 3-5 10, Hummel 3 0-0 8, Jerome 2 3-4 7, Cuckler 3 0-0 6, North 2 1-2 6, Sabol 3 0-0 6, Phillips 1 1-1 3, Daniels 1 0-0 2
Individual 3PT: Hummel (2), Keys, North
Team Field Goals: 18-43 42%
Team 3PT%: 4-17 24%
Team FT: 8-12 67%
NEXT GAME: The Leopards will host the West Branch Warriors on Tuesday, January 4. JV starts at 6:00, while Varsity Begins at Approximately 7:30.
The Leopards hosted Akron Springfield earlier in the day and won big to improve to 7-0 on the season. Score and Stats are unavailable at this time.