Boys Basketball Shows Heart in Win Over Canton South
Louisville 65, Canton South 61
The Louisville Leopards Boys Varsity Basketball Team rallied back in the second half to edge the visiting Canton South Wildcats 65-61 Friday Night at Louisville High School. With the victory, Louisville improves to 15-4 overall and has clinched second place in the NBC at 10-3.
Drew Noble scored a game-high 27 points and pulled down a game-high 18 rebounds to lead the Leopards. Jake Pukys also made 2 three-pointers & tallied 14, Jared Holland scored 10 points, and Chris Libertore dished out a team-high 4 assists for Louisville.
Malik Campbell scored 15 of his team-high 26 points in the first half to lead the Wildcats to a 32-29 halftime lead. Campbell hit all 3 of his three-pointers in the opening half. This included an NBA Range, fully guarded three-point jumper along the right sideline as the final seconds of the second quarter ticked away.
The third quarter belonged to the Leopards as they at one point used a 10-2 run to take their largest lead of the night at 48-40. Noble and Pukys combined to score 17 in the period, while the Louisville defense held Campbell to just a single field goal in the period. Noble threw down a two-handed slam to put an exclamation point on a 19-10 quarter for LHS.
The two teams went back-and-forth in the final period with the Leopards maintaining their advantage. Holland’s lay-in off a pass from Noble gave Louisville a 57-50 lead with a little under two minutes to play.
The Wildcats, however, had nine lives and they stormed back into the contest with a 7-2 run. A bucket by Sa’von Terrell began the run and Campbell completed an old fashion three-point play to cut the Leopard lead to 58-55 with 41.6 seconds remaining.
A free throw shooting contest ensued after that. Libertore made 1 of 2 to extend the Louisville lead to 4, but Jake Daniska answered with a pair of free throws to make the score 59-57 with 19.2 seconds left. Noble was fouled immediately and easily hit home points 26 & 27 on the other end. Not to call them “copycats” but Canton South matched the feat again when Campbell rattled home points 25 & 26. And again, the Leopards answered when Holland threw in 2 more shots from the line to put Louisville ahead 63-59 with 10.1 seconds left.
Thus, in span of only 9.1 seconds the two teams were a combined 8 of 8 from the charity stride. For the game, the Leopard would finish 19 of 27 (70%) from the line, while the Wildcats ended the evening 13 of 16 (81%) at the stripe.
On the next Canton South possession, a three-point attempt hit off the back of the iron, but was rebounded by the Wildcats Arthur Miles. His put-back banked home and he was fouled in the process with only 1.8 seconds left in the game. Out of a timeout, Canton South elected to intentionally miss the free throw in hopes of another put-back.
However, the ball deflected off the rim and into the hands of the Hearts Dance King Jake Adams. Adams was fouled immediately, but removed all doubt by splashing in another pair of double bonus free throws to make it 65-61 Louisville with 0.5 seconds left. All-in-All the Leopards made their final seven free throw attempts over the final 40 seconds to preserve the win and secure second place in the NBC.
Louisville shot 48% (22 of 46) from the field compared to Canton South who finished 38% (22 of 58) from the floor. The Wildcats made up for the disadvantage on the defensive end by leading in steals 11-1. But they could not overcome the Leopards 41-18 advantage on the boards.
With the loss, Canton South drops to 12-8 overall and 9-4 in league play. Terrell finished with 14 points & 3 steals, Miles had 8 points & a team-leading 8 boards, and Daniska recorded a game-high 5 assists. To go along with his game-high in points, Campbell finished with a game-leading 4 steals & 3 assists.
The Leopards have now taken 3 of the last 4 meetings against the Wildcats, including the last three match-ups at LHS. Canton South leads the all-time series 95-48 and the last four games in the series have been decided by 4 points or less.
UP NEXT: The Leopards will next travel to North Canton Hoover to take on the Vikings on Tuesday, February 9. JV will begin at 6:00 PM and Varsity will follow around 7:30 PM.
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