Red Ash Gymnasium Finale Spoiled By Louisville 84-58
Louisville 84, Canton South 58
The Louisville Leopards dominated the host Canton South Wildcats 84-58 in the final ever regular season boys varsity basketball game at the original Charles “Red” Ash Gymnasium. With Friday’s victory, Louisville improves to 12-7 overall and inches closer to raising another banner with an 11-2 NBC mark.
Chris Libertore scored a game-high 21 points and hit 3 three-pointers to lead the Leopards. Libertore now stands at 1,061 points for his career leaving him 17 points away from the Louisville record of 1,078 set by Drew Noble last season. Brandon Wahl also matched Libertore with a trio of triples to finish with 13 and Derek Zeller poured in 12.
The Wildcats won the JV game to hand the Leopards their first NBC loss of the season and Senior Night followed. There seemed to be a lot of energy from the Canton South faithful and it continued to grow as the Wildcats starting lineup was announced for the final time in Red Ash Gymnasium.
Then the game started and Louisville sucked the energy right out of the gym. The Leopards mercilessly started the game off on a 19-2 run, which was sparked by several steals on defense. The dominate start was eerily similar to their first matchup at LHS in which Louisville began the game with a 13-0 advantage.
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The Wildcats best chance to seize back momentum came at the end of the first quarter when Riley James threw up a prayer that found the bottom of the net. However, the shot came after the buzzer leaving Canton South behind 23-5 after the first quarter. James would go on to match Libertore with a game-high 21 to lead the Wildcats, but not before the Leopards left their imprint on Red Ash Gymnasium.
Wahl hit 3 of Louisville’s 5 three-pointers during the Leopards 28-point second quarter. Louisville shot lights out in the period leaving them on pace to surpass the century mark up 51-20.
The Leopards route continued in the second half. Their offense continued to surgically dissect the Canton South defense as they maintained their advantage 68-34 heading into the fourth quarter. The bench cleared after that and 12 different Louisville players ended up scoring. When the buzzer rang out for the final time at Red Ash Gymnasium, the Leopards had tallied their highest road point total of the season.
Chris Fontes also scored 15 and Jared Perez added 6 to round out the Wildcats top scorers.
With the victory, Louisville has now won 4 out of their last 5 against Canton South. This was the Leopards 50th victory over the Wildcats all-time, however Canton South still leads the head-to-head series 95-50 dating back to 1933.
UP NEXT: The Leopards will next host the North Canton Hoover Vikings on Tuesday, February 14. JV will begin at 6:00 PM and Varsity will follow around 7:30 PM.