Clock Strikes Midnight for Lady Leopards at Jackson – Girls Basketball
#1 Jackson 40, #9 Louisville 21
The 9th Seed Louisville Leopards fell to the host Top Seed Jackson Polar Bears 40-21 in the DI Canton Girls Basketball Tournament Sectional Final Thursday Evening at Jackson High School. With the loss, Louisville finishes the season with a final record of 7-17.
Erin Hahn scored a team-high 8 points and pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds to lead the Lady Leopards. Ellie Jackson also finished with 6 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals. Rachel Israel also had a team leading 4 steals and Kayla Gibson had 4 rebounds and 3 steals for Louisville.
The Lady Polar Bears were led by Taylor Mikesell who scored a game-high 18 points. Naudier Bector also hit double figures with 10 points, Lauren Scheetz finished with 5 points and 6 rebounds, and Chloe Falconer recorded a team-high 10 boards for Jackson.
Points were hard to come by for most of the night. The Polar Bears shot 34% (16 of 46) from the floor compared to the Leopards 20% (9 of 45) effort from the field. Louisville finished with a 28-23 edge on the glass.
The Lady Bears shutout the Lady Leopards in the first quarter 9-0. However, Louisville matched Jackson’s total in the second quarter as both teams scored 7 points a piece. Hahn, Jackson, and Cassidy Kiko each scored baskets as the Leopards went into the half down 16-7.
Louisville continued their relentless effort to begin the second half and trimmed the Jackson lead to 18-13 midway through the third quarter. Israel started the quarter with a steal in the Polar Bear backcourt which led to an immediate Leopard layup by Jackson. Hahn also scored on a lay in after grabbing an offensive board a few minutes later. On defense, Hahn held on for dear life to force a jump ball after Hanna Lautzenheiser rejected a potential Polar Bear field goal in the lane. On the other end, Hahn hit from high off the glass to cut the Jackson lead to 5.
Just when it looked like Cinderella might have been wearing Louisville blue, the Lady Bears showed why they were voted the top seed in the DI Canton District. Sparked by their coaches fiery timeout speech, Jackson went on a 19-0 run over he course of the next 7:26. Hahn’s jumper from just inside the arch stopped the bleeding momentarily, but Mikesell blistered home a three on the other end to give the Polar Bears their largest lead of the contest at 40-15 with 3:21 left in the game.
The Leopards would score the final 6 points to end the quarter. Maggie Galentine banked home a shot in the lane, Jackson hit a pair of free throws, and Jenna Agnone scored on a lay in from underneath the hoop via a pass from Gibson at the top of the key.
With the loss, the Lady Leopards have lost 4 out of their past 5 matchups against the Lady Bears including Sectional Tournament games in each of the past 2 seasons. Louisville now trails the all-time series 15-21, which includes a 5-15 mark in games played at Jackson. The Lady Leopards are now 43-42 all-time in tournament play and 4-11 since 2008 when they entered Division I.
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POLAR BEARS 40, LEOPARDS 21
Records: Louisville 7-17