Leopards Claw Past Crusaders on Senior Night 66-59 – Boys Basketball

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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

Jenny Can Cleaning AdSophomore 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

Equitable Advisors - Bryce MathieCentral 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

My Fit Life Personal Trainer Side AdThe 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

Lingenhoel Group - Arden and Lisa Lingenhoel - Cutler Real Estate AdLouisville 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. 

<<< Previous 2022 | Central All-Time Series

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.

DI Northeast 3 Sectional Tournament Lower Bracket

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Central at Louisville Varsity Statistics


Team 1-2-3-4–TOTAL

Central 18-12-13-16–59

Louisville 10-24-16-16–66

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

JV Statistics


Team 1-2-3-4–TOTAL

Central 11-6-10-22–49

Louisville 13-10-2-5–30

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

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