Leopards Claw Past Crusaders on Senior Night 66-59 – Boys Basketball
Louisville 66, Central Catholic 59
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The Louisville Leopards Boys Varsity Basketball Team defeated the visiting Canton Central Catholic Crusaders 66-59 on Senior Night Thursday at Louisville High School. With the victory, the Leopards close the regular season winning 4 straight and head into the postseason with a record of 18-4.
Varsity Recap | Varsity Box Score | JV Box Score
Gross Scores Game High 21 for Louisville
Sophomore forward Brayden Gross scored 12 of his game high 21 points in the second half to lead Louisville. Senior wing Will Aljancic also scored 18 and sophomore point guard Beau Siegfried added 14.
Junior guard Hayden Nigro scored 7 points and made all 4 of his free throw attempts in the fourth quarter to help ice the game. Other scorers for the Leopards included senior guards Charlie Roberts and Kyle Vesely who each made a three-pointer.
Leopards Dig Out of 9-0 Deficit
Central Catholic scored the first 9 points of the game and opened up an 18-6 lead forcing a Louisville timeout with 2:06 to play in the opening quarter. The Leopards cut the margin to 18-10 by the end of the opening period, but the Crusaders re-upped their advantage to 12 points at 22-10 in the early stages of the second quarter.
Louisville used a 9-1 run to cut the deficit to 4 points. Central senior shooting guard Ethan Ragon answered with a three-pointer on the other end to put the Crusaders ahead 26-19. However, the Leopards responded by closing the half on a 15-4 run to take a 34-30 lead into the break.
Aljancic Ties Career Three-Point Mark
Aljancic was instrumental in Louisville’s second quarter comeback. He scored 10 points in the period, which included hitting a game-tying three-pointer from the right corner that made it 30-all with 2:36 left in the opening half.
That three-pointer by Aljancic also tied the career record of 173 set by Owen Gramoy (2008-2011).
Siegfried Hits Trifecta of Three-Pointers in 3rd
The Central defense blanketed Aljancic from beyond the arch for most of the night and he was unable to connect with a record-breaking three-point make. With the Crusader defense focusing on Aljancic, that left others undefended from long range.
Siegfried would bury 4 of the Leopards 7 three-point field goals on the evening, which included making 3 three-pointers in the third quarter alone.
Leopards Seal Game with Late 7-1 Run
Louisville outscored Central 16-13 in the third quarter to increase its advantage. Gross snagged an offense board in the waning seconds and scored as the buzzer sounded to give the Leopards a 50-43 lead heading into the final stanza.
The Crusaders managed to shrink the Louisville lead to 55-53 with 4:30 remaining. The Leopards would respond with a 7-1 run via a pair of baskets in the lane by Gross and a jumper by Aljancic to cap off the run giving LHS a commanding 62-54 advantage.
Central would get as close as 64-59 when Ragon hit his second three-pointer of the game with 36.9 seconds remaining. With 18.8 seconds left, Nigro went to the line for a 1-and-1 attempt and made both free throws to remove all doubt as Louisville secured its 18th win of the season.
DeGraffenried Scores Game High 21 for Central
Senior guard DeMonte DeGraffenried made a pair of three-pointers and matched Gross with a game high 21 points for the Crusaders.
Sophomore guard Luke Vlacovsky and senior forward Jack Talkington also reached double figures for Central. Vlacovsky hit 3 three-pointers en rout to 13 and Talkington tacked on a 11.
Leopards Vs. Crusaders Basketball History
The Leopards have now defeated the Crusaders in each of the last 3 seasons. Canton Central Catholic still leads the all-time series 31-28 overall in records dating back to 1931.
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UP NEXT: The #10 seed Leopards will next host the winner of the #17 Solon Comets and #22 University School Preppers in the DI Northeast 3 Sectional Finals on Saturday, February 25. Game time is set for 7:00 PM from Louisville High School.
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Central at Louisville Varsity Statistics
LEOPARDS 66, CRUSADERS 59
CRUSADERS: DeGraffenried 8 3-3 21, Lu Vlacovsky 5 0-0 13, Talkington 5 0-0 11, Ragon 3 0-0 8, Coney 1 1-2 3, Roush 1 1-2 3. TOTAL 23 5-7 59.
3-Pointers (8): Lu Vlacovsky 3, DeGraffenried 2, Ragon 2, Layman
Team FT: 5-7 71%
LEOPARDS: Gross 9 3-5 21, W. Aljancic 8 1-1 18, Siegfried 5 0-0 14, Nigro 1 5-6 7, Roberts 1 0-0 3, Vesely 1 0-0 3. TOTAL 25 9-12 66.
3-Pointers (7): Siegfried 4, Aljancic, Roberts, Vesely
Team FT: 9-12 75%
Fouls: 9-7 Central Catholic
Records: Louisville 18-4
JV: Central Catholic 49, Louisville 30
CRUSADERS 49, LEOPARDS 30
CRUSADERS: Stangl 6 0-0 12, Vlacovsky 5 0-0 11, Minnie 2 2-2 8, Miller 3 0-0 6, Tabellion 3 0-1 6, Stalnaker 2 0-0 4, Meyer 1 0-0 2. TOTAL 22 2-3 49.
3-Pointers (3): Minnie 2, Vlacovsky
Team FT: 2-3 67%
LEOPARDS: Dougherty 3 0-0 6, Leghert 3 0-0 6, Aljancic 1 2-2 5, House 1 0-0 3, Norris 1 0-0 3, Wade 1 0-0 3, Andrejcik 1 0-0 2, Z. Boldon 1 0-0 2. TOTAL 12 2-2 30.
3-Pointers (4): Aljancic, House, Norris, Wade
Team FT: 2-2 100%
Fouls: 11-8 Louisville
Records: Louisville 9-7