Leopards Upset New Philadelphia for 1st Sectional Title Since 2011 – Girls Basketball
#6 Louisville 46, #3 New Philadelphia 45
The #6 Seed Louisville Leopards Girls Basketball Team upset the #3 Seed New Philadelphia Quakers 46-45 in the DI Massillon Sectional Finals Thursday Night at New Philadelphia High School. With the win, Louisville improves to 15-7 on the season and advances to play the #2 Seed GlenOak Golden Eagles in the District Semifinals on Tuesday, February 25 at 6:00 PM from Perry High School.
Paige Cole scored a team-high 19 points and Kayla Gibson poured in 18 to lead the Lady Leopards. Gibson hit the backend of a pair of free throws to give Louisville a 46-45 advantage with 12.1 seconds to play. The Leopard defense held on the Quakers final possession to send LHS to Districts for the first time since 2011.
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Gibson’s three-pointer in the final minute of the first quarter put underdog Louisville ahead 11-5 at the end of the first eight minutes. New Philadelphia bounced back in the second quarter, but it was Gibson again who came through in the clutch to cut the deficit to 24-23 by halftime. Driving left of the lane, Gibson shot over three Quaker defenders and banked home a buzzer beater while being fouled. All alone at the charity stride, Gibson hit the additional free throw cutting the lead to the slimmest of margins at the break. These hard earned points would prove to be invaluable down the stretch.
Cole hit 2 of her 3 second half three-pointers in the third period, but those turned out to be the Leopards only field goals in the quarter. As a result, the Lady Quakers extended their advantage to 35-32 heading into the final stanza.
Louisville opened the fourth quarter on an 11-4 run to take a 43-39 advantage. New Philadelphia rallied in response to tie the game at 45-45 with under a minute to play. Gibson drove to the right of the lane drawing a shooting foul in the process. She split the pair from the line which proved to be enough to lift the Leopards past the Quakers.
Josie Pry mad 3 three-pointer in the second quarter and finished with a game-high 23 points to lead New Philadelphia. Julia Riss and Ajia Schreffler both added 6 each for the Quakers as well.
With the victory, Louisville has now won 2 in a row against New Philadelphia. The Leopards defeated the Quakers 59-55 in overtime to open the season on the road back on November 22. Louisville still trails the all-time series 6-8, but holds a 5-3 record in games played at New Philadelphia. The Leopards are now 1-1 against the Quakers in the postseason. Louisville fell at AP Poll Champion New Philadelphia 47-38 in their only other tournament meeting on February 26, 2016.
This is the first time the Lady Leopards have won a Sectional Championship in nine seasons. They defeated the Perry Panthers 53-37 at Alliance in 2011 for their only other Division I Sectional Title. Louisville is now 45-43 all-time in the postseason, which includes a 2-7 record on the road and a 6-12 mark in tournament play since entering Division I in 2006.
The Lady Leopards will play the #2 Seed GlenOak Golden Eagles on Tuesday for a chance to advance to their first District Title game since 1996 when they lost to Canton Central Catholic 54-42. Louisville has not won a District Championship since winning three straight DII District Titles in 1990, 1991, and 1992.
LEOPARDS 46, QUAKERS 45
New Philadelphia 5-19-11-10—45
LEOPARDS:Cole 7 2-2 19, Gibson 5 7-8 18, Loy 2 1-4 5, Adelman 0 2-4 2, Mullett 1 0-0 2. TOTAL 15 12-18 46.
3-Pointers (4): Cole 3, Gibson
Team FT: 12-18 67%
QUAKERS: Pry 10 0-1 23, Riss 2 2-3 6, Schroffler 2 2-5 6, Goodwin 1 1-2 3, Monaco 1 1-1 3, Harr 1 0-0 2, Miller 1 0-0 2. TOTAL 18 6-12 45.
3-Pointers (3): Pry 3
Team FT: 6-12 50%
Fouls: 15-13 New Philadelphia
Records: Louisville 15-7