Boys Basketball Gets 1st Win at North Canton Since 1981
Louisville 59, North Canton Hoover 56
The Louisville Leopards erased a double digit second half deficit in stunning the host North Canton Hoover Vikings 59-56 at North Canton Hoover High School Tuesday Night. With the victory, Louisville improves to 16-4 overall and 6-1 in out of conference play.
Drew Noble scored a game-high 24 points and pulled down 6 rebounds to lead the Leopards. Chris Libertore also dropped in 15 points and Jake Pukys added 8 points & dished out a game-high 4 assists.
Louisville trailed by as many as 13 in the second half and found themselves trailing 43-34 after Hoover’s Nathan Fox boomed home a 27-foot buzzer beater. The Leopards battled back and opened the third quarter on a 13-5 run to trim the Vikings lead to 48-47.
Hoover answered on the other end with a three-pointer, but Louisville came right back when Pukys rolled to the hoop with 2:42 to play. Over the final 1:48 the Leopards hit home 10 of 12 free throws to complete the comeback.
Back-to-back offensive fouls on North Canton allowed Louisville to take a 56-53 after Jake Adams made 2 clutch free throws and Brody Hahn split another pair with 29 seconds left in the game. The Vikings attempted to tie the game with a three, but the shot only grazed the net before sailing out of bounds. Noble split a pair from the charity stride on the other end to put the Leopards back up two possessions.
Hoover would add excitement in the final seconds by cutting the Louisville lead to 57-56 with 0.5 seconds remaining. A foul before the in-bound pass put Libertore on the line with his team in the double bonus. He made both and North Canton’s last gasp missed its mark.
The Vikings outshot the Leopards 54% (22 of 46) to 50% (20 of 40) from the field and made 5 of 11 three-pointers. However, Louisville dominated from the foul line hitting 17 of 22 (77%) charity shots compared to North Canton who made just 1 of 3 (33%). Hoover committed significantly more fouls by a count of 20-9.
The Vikings were led by Eli Blackledge who scored a team-high 16 points. Fox also scored 15 points & snagged 6 boards, Cam Telesz scored 7 points, and Kyle Sibler finished with 2 blocks.
The victory snaps a 17 game losing streak by the Leopards in games played at North Canton. This is Louisville’s first win at Hoover since they defeated the Vikings 65-49 back on December 23, 1981. North Canton leads the all-time series 66-56 dating back to 1926.
UP NEXT: The Leopards will next travel to Carrollton to take on the Warriors on Friday, February 12. JV will begin at 6:00 PM and Varsity will follow around 7:30 PM.
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