Girls Basketball Rallies for Last Second Win At Massillon
Louisville 48, Massillon 46
The Louisville Lady Leopards Girls Varsity Basketball Team erased a 13-point deficit in downing the host Massillon Tigers 48-46 Thursday Evening at Washington High School. With the victory, Louisville improves to 4-1 on the season.
Emily Hollifield scored 18 of her 22 points in the second half and hit 3 three-pointers to lead the Leopards. Sarah Lairson also scored 4 clutch points in the final 37 seconds to finish with 8 for the game.
Kaylee Pierce hit 3 three-pointers out of the gate as the Tigers went ahead 15-2 with 1:59 left in the first quarter. Just when it looked like the rout was on, Louisville doubled up Massillon 18-9 during the remainder of the half and ended the second quarter on a 10-0 run. As a result, the Lady Leopards trailed just 24-20 at the break.
Louisville continued to battle in the third quarter. They took their first lead of the game at the 2:41 mark when a Hollifield steal and score put the Leps up 31-30. The Leopards would pull ahead to a 41-37 lead in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.
The Tigers answered back with an 8-0 run to take a 45-41 advantage. Louisville was held scoreless from the field for a span of 5:47 during the swing.
Hollifield ended the LHS drought by nailing a three-ball in the right corner with a minute left to play. Down by a single point, the Leopards trapped on the defense end. Lairson deflected a Massillon pass into the hands of Abby Beaver giving possession back to Louisville. On the other end, Sabyrna Benzel hit a cutting Lairson who scored the go-ahead lay-in with 37 seconds left in the game.
The Tigers drew a foul on their next possession and Kaylesha Broyles hit the back-end of a pair of free throws to knot the game at 46-46. The Leopards followed suit as Lairson drew a foul while rolling to the hole with 9.9 seconds left in the game. Lairson gave Louisville the lead by popping in the first of the pair. After a Tiger timeout, Lairson swished the second freebie to put the Leopards ahead 48-46.
Massillon put up two shots during their last gasp, but the Louisville defense pressured to make both attempts difficult. Fittingly, the final shot was rebounded by Lairson in the key. She hugged the ball to secure it and grinned big as the Leopards secured their first win at Massillon since 2007.
The Tigers were led by Tamia Ridley who finished with a team-high 14 points. Pierce also ended the evening with 11 and Kailani Broyles broke double digits with 10.
Seven different Louisville players scored from the field during the game. Beaver, Benzel, Ellie Jackson, and Grace Jackson all scored 4 points a piece for the Leopards.
The victory snaps Louisville’s streak of four straight losses to Massillon. Prior to Thursday, the Leopards last defeated Tigers 66-46 at LHS on December 22, 2010 and last won at Massillon 68-47 back on December 27, 2007. This was the 21th all-time meeting between the two teams and Louisville now leads the all-time series 13-8, which includes a 5-4 record when playing at WHS.
UP NEXT: The Lady Leopards will next travel to Alliance to take on the Aviators on Saturday, December 12. JV will begin at 12:00 PM and Varsity will follow around 1:30 PM.
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