Boys Basketball Stuns Wildcats, Now in Complete Command
Louisville 59, Canton South 58
Jake Pukys hit the front end of a 1-and-1 with 1 tick remaining to lift Louisville past visiting Canton South 59-58 Friday Evening at LHS. With the victory, Louisville is now 13-2 overall and is alone in first with a perfect 10-0 NBC record.
The Leopards were led by Drew Noble who scored a team-high 18 points and grabbed a game-high 9 rebounds. Blake Hoover also scored 14 points & had 6 boards and Pukys finished with 12 points & a game-high 7 assists.
The Wildcats Gunnar Tharp hit a three from the right wing to put the Leopards on life support at 58-51 with 1:40 remaining. But the heart of the Leopards beat on and on as they scored the final 8 points of the contest to take the game.
On the ensuing possession, Noble kicked out a pass to Pukys in the left corner who rattled home his third three-pointer of the game. On Canton South’s following possession, Brody Hahn poked the ball away and Joe Crank snagged it creating another Louisville possession. Six seconds later Crank scored on a lay-in to cut the deficit to 58-56.
The Leopards backcourt defensive coverage caused havoc for the Wildcats offense after that. First, it forced South to burn a timeout before the inbound and then Hahn stole the ball away again. Louisville patiently worked the ball around and recorded two huge offensive boards to keep possession. On the second, Hoover scored on a put back to knot the game at 58-58 and was fouled in the process.
Hoover missed the bonus free throw and the Wildcats had their turn to go ahead. After a Leopards foul, Canton South in-bounded the ball in front of their bench on the right sideline. When the ball was passed in, Crank lunged forward to knock the ball free. After a mad scramble, Hoover pounced on it and Head Coach Tom Siegfried called and was awarded Louisville’s final timeout with 9.8 seconds remaining.
The Wildcats mistakenly fouled twice in the remaining seconds putting the Leopards in the bonus with 1.0 left on the clock. Pukys made the first free throw and Louisville began to celebrate. He then intentionally missed the second shot to force Canton South to throw up a prayer that was not answered.
Early on, Noble paced the Leopards with 8 points in the opening quarter. This included a two-handed slam just before the buzzer sounded to give Louisville a 15-14 lead heading into the second.
The Wildcats answered back to take a double digit advantage into the locker room after outscoring the Leopards 21-9 in the second period. But Louisville turned the tables back on Canton South as they opened the third quarter on a 14-2 run to take the lead. Eventually the two rivals headed into the fourth quarter all even at 43-43.
The Wildcats went up by as many as 8 in the final period, but could not hold back the Leopards storm in the end. Canton South was led by Malik Campbell who scored a game-high 22 and recorded a game-high 6 steals. Matt Nicoletti also poured in 18 points and Kole Ickes tallied 5 assists.
With the victory, the Leopards have now taken 3 out of the last 4 meetings from the Wildcats. Canton South still leads the known all-time series 94-47 dating back to 1933.
UP NEXT: The Leopards will next travel to Green to take on the Bulldogs on Tuesday, February 3. JV will begin at 6:00 PM and Varsity will follow around 7:30 PM.
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