Leopards Fall at Boardman in Sectional Final, Finish 14-9
#3 Boardman 62, #5 Louisville 54
The 5th Seed Louisville Leopards Boys Basketball Team fell to the host 5th Seed Boardman Spartans 62-54 Saturday Night at Boardman High School. With the loss, Louisville finishes the season with a record of 14-9.
Chris Libertore finished with game-highs of 28 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assist to lead the Leopards in the final game of his high school career. Libertore finishes as Louisville’s all-time leading scorer with 1,146 points. He also finishes the season averaging a team record 23.9 points per game passing Lee Fauseneaucht who averaged 21.0 points per content during the 1981-82 Leopards season.
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Louisville snagged an early lead at the end of the first quarter by the count of 14-12. Boardman outscored Louisville in the second quarter and Holden Lipke’s three-pointer from the right corner in the final seconds gave the Spartans a 26-24 halftime advantage. Lipke would finish with a team-high 18 points and a team-high 6 rebounds to lead Boardman.
The Leopards started the second half strong with a pair of triples from Mathie and Libertore. But that 30-27 Louisville advantage quickly evaporated as the Spartans strung together 7 straight points to go ahead 34-30. Boardman would never trail again.
The Spartans led 43-37 at the end of the third and extended their advantage to double digits within the first minutes of the fourth quarter. The Leopards scratched and clawed at the deficit, but would get no closer than the final 62-54 tally.
Other leaders for Boardman included Mike Melewski and John Ryan who scored 11 points each and Travis Koontz who added 9. The Spartans improve to 19-4 with the win and advance to play the 2nd Seed Lake Blue Streaks in the DI Alliance District Semifinals on Thursday, March 9 at 7:00 PM at Alliance High School.
With the loss, the Leopards have now dropped 7 out of their last 8 against the Spartans including their last 3 at Boardman in recent history. The Spartans lead the all-time series 17-7 dating back to 1933. Louisville is now 50-81 in tournament play dating back to 1932.