Hoover Scores 40 as Leopards Finish Perfect NBC Run
Louisville 86, Alliance 72
The Louisville Leopards Boys Basketball team completed a perfect run through the NBC with an 86-72 win over the visiting Alliance Aviators Monday Evening at LHS. With the win, Louisville improves to 18-3 overall and finishes 14-0 in the NBC for just the second time in school history (2000-01 was the other season).
Blake Hoover exploded for a career-high 40 points and also had a game-high 21 rebounds to lead the Leopards. Hoover dropped in 14 in each of the final two quarters to to match the number on his jersey. He is just the third known Louisville player to reach 40 with the other being Bart Keiser who poured in 49 during the Leopards 88-56 victory at Oakwood back on January 15, 1971.
Ten days earlier, Louisville stormed out to a 29-15 first quarter lead before the game was suspended due to a medical emergency. Sarrick Samson, Alliance’s Freshman Player who was rushed to the hospital, returned to honor the Louisville staff members who saved his life prior to the game being continued. They included John Henkel, Amanda Perillo, and Athletic Director John Twinem. Video of the presentation can be seen below:
The amped up Aviators began the second quarter on an 11-1 run to cut their deficit to 30-26. However, that was as close as they would get as the Leopards pulled back out to a double digit 45-34 lead by halftime. Louisville would maintain that advantage the rest of the way as they outscored Alliance 41-38 in the second half to take the game.
The Leopards shot 59% (32 of 54) from the floor, 50% (5 of 10) from beyond the arch, and held a distinct 40-20 advantage on the boards. Drew Noble also scored 13 points and finished with a game-high 5 blocks to lead Louisville’s defensive effort. Jake Adams also ended the night with 10 points, Chris Libertore dished out 7 assists, and Jake Pukys (who was inactive Monday) had 5 assists in the opening quarter.
The Aviators had four players reach double digits during the contest. DJ Hancock led them all with 21 points and 6 rebounds and Jai’ron Brackett had 18 points and 6 boards. Both Devernte Martin and Aeyron Williams also finished with 11 a piece.
This is the first time the Leopards have swept the Aviators since 2009-10. Alliance still leads the all-time series 40-15, but the two squads are an even 7-7 in the last 14 match-ups.
UP NEXT: The Leopards will next conclude the regular season when they travel to Lake to take on the Blue Streaks on Wednesday, February 25. JV will begin at 6:00 PM and Varsity will follow around 7:30 PM.
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