Louisville Fights to the End At Green, But Falls in Sectional – Girls Basketball
Green 54, Louisville 51
The 5th Seed Louisville Leopards Girls Basketball Team fell to the host 4th Seed Green Bulldogs 54-51 in their DI Canton Sectional Final Tournament Game Thursday Night at Green High School. With the result, Louisville ends the season with a final record of 11-12.
Senior Erin Hahn scored a game-high 17 points, hit a pair of three-pointers, and finished with a game leading 5 steals in her final game as a Lady Leopard. Hahn scored 12 points in the second half and willed Louisville’s fourth quarter rally down the stretch with relentless pressure in the Bulldogs backcourt.
The Lady Leopards trailed by double digits 54-43 with just 42.9 seconds remaining. Hahn kickstarted the comeback with a steal and drew a foul on the way to the hole. She sunk the pair from he line and Louisville cut the deficit to single digits at 54-45.
Out of a timeout, Maggie Galentine and Sherilynn Mullett double teamed the inbound recipient forcing an ill-advised pass in the backcourt. Mullett tipped the pass and it found the hands of Hahn who laid it in for two more points to trim the Green lead to 54-47 with 33 seconds to play.
Hahn nearly forced a seal on the next inbound pass, but it ended up out of bounds off her tip. On the following pass in, she batted the ball away and into the hands of Mullett. Louisville could not capitalize on the turnover and threw it out of bounds giving the ball back to the Bulldogs. Green elected to throw the ball to half court on the next inbound play from the baseline and Kayla Gibson intercepted it at mid-court.
Gibson was paramount for the Lady Leopard in he fourth quarter even before their furious late rally. She scored all 9 of her points in the final stanza in a span of 4:18. After her steal, she dished the ball off and a three-point attempt missed. Paige Cole pulled down the crucial offensive board and was fouled on an immediate shot attempt. She hit the first from the line to give her 16 points for the night, but missed the second attempt.
In an all out effort, Hahn snagged the offensive rebound off the missed free throw and went back up with it. She couldn’t connect underneath the hoop and the Bulldogs retained possession drawing a foul and a double bonus opportunity with just 14.2 seconds remaining.
Green, who shot 71% from the line for the evening, missed both attempts from the line. Kelsey Adelman pulled down the uncontested rebound for Louisville and fed to Gibson who dribbled to the top of the key. Gibson then fed the ball to Galentine who launched from a distance that would have been long even by WNBA standards. The approximated 25-footer kissed off the glass and dropped in to get the Lady Leopards within 54-51 with only 4.2 seconds left to play. It was a fitting final shot for the Senior who’s career was filled with multiple long range, beyond belief three-point makes.
Louisville called timeout and readied to pressure the inbound looking for a steal and a potential game-tying buzzer beater. The steal opportunity was there twice as the ensuing inbound pass was bobbled and fell loose to the floor just briefly. Green recovered and passed back inside the paint to ensure the Leopards couldn’t snag a steal and nail a three. The ball tipped off players from both teams, but the buzzer sounded marking the end of Louisville’s season. The improbable comeback fell just short of its mark.
Green dominated early on taking a 9-2 lead at the outset, a 17-11 lead at the end of one, and a 31-17 lead by halftime. The Leopards outscored the Bulldogs 34-23 in the second half including 22-13 in the final period to all but complete their rally.
Green (13-10) was led by Olivia Payne who scored a team-high 15 points and sunk 10 of 10 free throw attempts. Marissa Berlin scored 13 points and obtained a game-high 6 rebounds. Alyssa Ziehler also reached double digits with 12 points and 4 rebounds.
The Bulldogs shot 51% (17 of 33) compared to the Leopards 38% (16 of 42) from the floor. Louisville out-rebounded Green 20-18 for the game and doubled them up on the defensive glass 16-8. Cole led the Lady Leopards in rebounds with 5, while Gibson and Mullett each pulled down 4.
With the loss, the Leopards have now dropped 5 straight against the Bulldogs. Louisville trails the all-time series 3-8 which includes a 1-2 record in matchups played at Green. The Lady Bulldogs are 3-1 in their four postseason tournament meetings against each other all-time. The Lady Leopards are now an even 43-43 all-time in tournament play dating back to 1977 which includes a 4-12 mark since entering Division I in 2008.
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BULLDOGS 54, LEOPARDS 51
LEOPARDS: Hahn 4 7-10 17, Cole 6 3-4 16, Gibson 4 0-0 9, Mullett 1 4-4 6, Galentine 1 0-0 3. TOTAL 16 14-18 51.
3-Pointers (4): Hahn 2, Cole, Gibson
Team FT: 14-18 78%
BULLDOGS: Payne 2 10-10 15, Berlin 6 1-4 13, Ziehler 5 2-3 12, Pearce 1 4-7 7, Willison 1 0-0 3, Glass 1 0-0 2, Piercy 1 0-0 2. TOTAL 17 17-24 54.
3-Pointers (3): Payne, Pearce, Willison
Team FT: 17-24 71%
Fouls: 15-14 Green
Records: Green 13-10, Louisville 11-12