Leopards Rally To Tie, But Fall to Minerva in Overtime

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Minerva 59, Louisville 51, OT

Bryce Mathie hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer at the end of regulation to force overtime, but the Minerva took the game in the extra period 59-51.  Mathie finished with a team-leading 12 points, while both Pavin Parks and Alex Schooley each added 8 for visiting Louisville.

Midway through the third quarter the Leopards had built a 30-16 advantage, but a little less than four minutes later it had vanished.  The Lions rode an 18-0 run to take a 34-30 lead early on in the fourth quarter.  The comeback was spearheaded by Billy Eyer who hit a three-pointer, stole a pass to dish out a key assist, and scored 11 of his 15 points in the third quarter.

Minerva ran off 8 quick points in the final 50 seconds of the quarter to get within 30-29.  Then a basket by Jantsen Locke on the opening possession of the fourth gave the Lions their first lead since the opening minutes of the game.  Locke would go on to hit another key field goal, drill a three-pointer, and hit several free throws to give Minerva a 46-38 lead with under a half minute to play.

But the Leopards shook off the dirt and rose from the grave by using a 9-1 run over the final 24.4 seconds.  Parks hit a three-pointer at the top of the key to start the run.  Then the Lions split a pair of free throws.  After that Mathie hit a three-pointer from the far left corner to shrink the lead to a single possession at 47-44 with 15.4 seconds remaining.  Following a Minerva timeout, the Lions threw the inbound pass out of bounds and thus gave the Leopards one last opportunity with precious ticks remaining.

On the ensuing possession, Louisville nearly lost the ball to a Minerva steal but the Lions could not keep the ball in bounds.  Then Parks in-bounded to Mathie and Mathie threw the ball back over to Beatty's Winter HoodiesParks who drew the double team.  Parks tossed the ball back over to the wide-open Mathie in the far right corner who put up a prayer.  It was answered by the sound of nylon.  The buzzer sounded and the scoreboard displayed a 47-47 tie.  The Leopards had done the unthinkable in erasing an eight point deficit in less than 25 seconds.

But the celebrating turned quickly into frustration as Minerva outscored Louisville 12-4 in the overtime period.  The Leopards actually scored more field goals in overtime than the Lions, but Minerva made 10 of 14 free throws in the extra period to seal the deal.  Minerva was in the double bonus for much of the fourth quarter and all of overtime.  23 of the Leopards 29 fouls came after halftime and the Lions finished the game by shooting 28 of 46 (61%) from the charity stride.

Locke made 16 of 27 free throws alone and scored 23 of his game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter and overtime.  Nick Clapper also poured in 11 for Minerva who earned their first victory of the season improving to 1-14, 1-8.

Amazingly, the Lions were futile on offense in the first half.  The Leopards defense held them scoreless from the field for the entire first quarter and led 7-1 through the first eight minutes.  Minerva barely broke double digits as Louisville doubled them up 20-10 by halftime.  Louisville continued to command the game and built a 14-point advantage before Minerva went on their wild run.

The Leopards loss snaps a seven game winning streak over the Lions.  Louisville has now lost 9 straight contests and falls to 3-14 overall and 1-10 in the NBC.  They will look to get back on track when they host Marlington Tuesday before traveling to West Branch on Friday.

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STATISTICS

LIONS 59, LEOPARDS 51, OT

LEOPARDS: Mathie 3 4-5 12, Parks 3 0-0 8, Schooley 2 4-4 8, Crank 2 2-2 7, Hollifield 3 0-0 6, Hoover 3 0-1 6, Adams 1 0-0 3, Noble 0 1-2 1.  TOTAL 17 11-14 51.

3-Pointers (6): Mathie (2), Parks (2), Adams, Crank

Team FT: 11-14 79%

LIONS: Locke 5 16-27 27, Eyer 5 4-8 15, Clapper 2 6-9 11, Gill 1 2-2 4, Zeedrich 1 0-0 2.  TOTAL 14 28-46 59.

3-Pointers (3): Clapper, Eyer, Locke

Team FT: 28-46 61%

Team 1-2-3-4-OT–TOTAL

Louisville 7-13-10-17-4–51

Minerva 1-9-19-18-12–59

Fouls: 29-14 Louisville

Records: Minerva 1-14, 1-8; Louisville 3-14, 1-10

UP NEXT: The Leopards will next host the Marlington Dukes on Tuesday, February 5.  JV will begin at 6:00 PM and Varsity will follow at 7:30 PM.

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JV: Louisville 62, Minerva 43

Jake Pukys scored a game-high 21 points and Stephen Kerzan poured in 14 to lead the Leopards past the Lions 62-43 Friday night.

Pukys hit 3 of the Leopards 6 three-pointers in the contest, while Kerzan added 2 other triples.

After edging the Lions 11-10 in the opening quarter, the Leps outscored Minerva 38-18 over the next two periods to take command of the contest.  They then played relatively even with the Lions in the fourth quarter to clinch the victory.

Catlett led the Lions with 20 points.  John Lairson also dropped in 9 and Riley Graybeal added 6 for Louisville who improves to 9-7 overall and 7-4 in NBC play.

STATISTICS

LEOPARDS 62, LIONS 43

LEOPARDS: Pukys 6 6-6 21, Kerzan 5 2-2 14, Lairson 4 1-2 9, Graybeal 2 2-4 6, Adams 1 1-2 4, Shaheen 0 3-6 3, Haren 0 2-2 2, Mathie 1 0-1 2, Eddins 0 1-2 1.  TOTAL 22 18-27 62.

3-Pointers (6): Pukys (3), Kerzan (2), Adams

Team FT: 18-27 67%

LIONS: Catlett 8 3-4 20, Knight 2 1-3 5, Coe 1 2-4 4, Haas 2 0-0 4, Myers 2 0-0 4, Cappelli 1 0-0 2, Hudy 1 0-2 2, Wilson 1 0-2 2.  TOTAL 18 6-15 43.

3-Pointers (1): Catlett

Team FT: 6-15 40%

Team 1-2-3-4–TOTAL

Louisville 11-18-20-13–62

Minerva 10-12-6-15–43

Fouls: 20-15 Minerva

Records: Louisville 9-7

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