Louisville Wins Overtime Thriller Against Central on Senior Night – Girls Basketball
Louisville 54, Central Catholic 51, OT
The Louisville Leopards Girls Varsity Basketball Team won a 54-51 overtime thriller against the visiting Canton Central Catholic Crusaders on Senior Night Wednesday at Louisville High School. With the victory, Louisville finishes the regular season with a record of 6-16.
Kayla Gibson scored a team-high 18 points and recored a game leading 3 assists to lead the Leopards. She made 7 of 12 shots from the field which included making 3 of 5 three-point attempts. Gibson hit a three-pointer to start overtime and what proved to be the game winning three with 27 seconds remaining.
Erin Hahn also scored 16 points and Ellie Jackson poured in 15 points to round out the top Louisville scorers. Jackson also finished a game-high 9 rebounds, Maggie Galentine tallied 3 assists, and Sydney Daniel also recorded 5 boards.
Ashley Schott who scored a game-high 20 points and Erin Krupar who scored 19 points and pulled down a team-high 7 rebounds. Addey Blakeney also scored 5 points for Central.
Starting all Seniors, Louisville held Central off the scoreboard through the first five minutes of the contest in taking a 6-0 lead. The Leopards would lead 12-5 at the end of eight minutes and upped their lead to double digits in the second quarter going into the break with a 27-15 advantage. Louisville maintained that double digit lead in the third quarter to take a 38-27 lead into the fourth.
Krupar scored the first points of the fourth quarter for Central at the 6:18 mark which kickstarted a stunning 10-0 Crusader run. Central shrunk the double digit Louisville lead to 38-37 in a span of only 47 seconds, forcing the Leopards to take a timeout.
Despite the furious Crusader rally, Louisville never gave up their lead. Hahn scored on a contested shot out of the timeout and hit a pair of free throws a few minutes later to put the Leopards ahead 42-39 with 3:28 left to play.
A few possessions later, airtight defense by Cassidy Kiko and Sydney Daniel forced a Central miss. Rachel Israel was there for the rebound and dished it over the Jackson who scored a fast break basket off the glass. That made it 45-41 in favor of the Leopards with 1:22 left the play.
The Crusaders took advantage of the Leopards double bonus charity in their next two possessions. Krupar hit the first pair and Schott hit the second pair from the line to knot the game at 45-45 with 50.8 seconds left in regulation.
Louisville missed a pair of short shots in the shadow of the hoop on their next possession, but Central’s ensuing downcourt pass went too high and into the first row with 26.5 seconds left. After a Crusader foul, Central’s Olivia Okress tipped a pass toward the lane into the hands of teammate Addey Blakeney.
The Crusaders came back quickly the other way and were fouled with just 3.2 ticks left on the clock. Still a beneficiary of the double bonus, Central Catholic looked to take their first lead and steal the game. However, both free throw attempts were missed to keep the game tied at 45-45 in forcing overtime.
The Leopards scored 6 straight points to take early command of the extra period. Gibson hit a three and Jackson was fouled while scoring a bucket. She converted the “and one” from the line to put Louisville ahead 51-45 with 2:16 left in overtime.
But the Lady Crusaders weren’t done yet. Central fought back with a 6-0 run of their own to knot the game at 51-51. Blakeney retrieved a wild offensive rebound and put it back up and in for a score. Okress forced a steal in the Leopard backcourt and dished to Schott for two more. Then Krupar was fouled and hit two shots from the line to tie the game with 44.3 seconds to go.
Putting that sequence behind them, the Louisville offense went to work. Excellent passing allowed them to find the open hot hand of Gibson. She cashed in the go-ahead three-pointer from the right side of the arch to put LHS ahead 54-51 with less than a half minute remaining. Gibson would finish with 12 points in the second half and overtime.
On the other end, the Crusaders game-tying three-point attempt from the left corner missed its mark and Jackson hustled after the rebound forcing a jump ball. The possession arrow favored the Leopards who got the ball back with only a few seconds left. Gibson was fouled on the in-bound and went to the line for the bonus. Her shot missed, but it proved to be a blessing in disguise. Central did not realize it was a 1-and-1 attempt and held the ball as the remaining 1.5 seconds ran out.
This is the second straight year that these two teams played into overtime. The Crusaders won last year’s regular season finale 52-49 in overtime at Central and the Leopards returned the favor with a three point overtime victory this year.
Louisville has now won 3 of their last 4 meetings with Central Catholic and 7 out of the past 9 in the series overall. The Lady Leopards still trail the all-time series 20-22, but hold a 10-8 edge at home and are 2-1 in known overtime games. This was Louisville’s first non-conference win of the year as they finish 1-7 outside of league play.
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UP NEXT: The #9 Seed Lady Leopards will next travel to Lake to take on the #8 Seed Blue Streaks in the DI Canton Sectional Semifinals on Saturday, February 14 at 1:00 PM.
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LEOPARDS 54, CRUSADERS 51
Central Catholic 5-10-12-16-6–51
Records: Louisville 6-16