Louisville Notches Overtime Road Win at Norton 52-47 – Boys Basketball
Louisville 52, Norton 47, OT
The Louisville Leopards Boys Varsity Basketball Team defeated the host Norton Panthers 52-47 in overtime Saturday Night at Norton High School. The victory snaps the Leopards three-game skid as they improve to 4-5 on the season.
Cory Noble scored 6 of his game-high 18 points in overtime to lead the Leopards. Broc Pickens also scored 6 of his 11 points in the fourth quarter and Will Aljancic hit a pair of three-pointers en rout to finishing with 8.
Panthers Take the Lead Into the Half
Norton led 11-3 out of the gate before Louisville trimmed the deficit to 11-8 by the end of the first quarter. The two teams continued to battle back and forth before the Panthers used a 7-0 run to take their largest lead of the game at 24-15 in the final minute of the second quarter.
In the waning seconds of the first half, Pickens poked the ball away from a Norton dribbler around half court into the hands of Aljancic. Aljancic was unable to connect on his drive to the hoop but Tyler Boldon snagged the rebound and flushed it home to cut the Norton lead to 24-17 at halftime.
Leopards Use 18-5 Run to Snatch Lead Back
The Leopards seemed to ride the momentum of that play into the locker room and into the third quarter. After falling behind by nine points, Louisville used an 18-5 run to take a 33-29 lead into the final minute of the third quarter. Noble and Pickens scored 5 points each during the run. Both Aljancic and Dakota Hoffman also cashed in on three-pointers during the Leopards third quarter rally.
The two teams traded baskets with Louisville continuing to maintain its lead. At the midway mark of the fourth quarter, Pickens picked off a Panther pass and took it coast to coast for the score to put the Leopards in front 41-36.
Reynolds Helps Panthers Force Overtime
Norton used a 7-2 run to tie the game in the final minutes. Eli Hirst hit home his third three-pointer of the game to kickstart the Panther run. Then senior Tommy Reynolds rolled to the rack and scored while being fouled to cut the deficit to 43-41 with 1:22 to play. He didn’t convert on the foul shot, but made up for it later with a steal and score to tie the game at 43-43 with 43 seconds left in the game.
The Leopards drained the clock all the way down and were able to get one final shot off. Despite a lot of contact in the key, no foul was called either way and the final shot attempt missed off the side of the rim sending the game to overtime.
Louisville Uses 5-0 Run to Take the Lead in OT
Norton won the opening tip and took nearly a minute off the clock before making their first shot attempt. Louisville came up with the rebound, but turned it over quickly on offense while committing a quick foul. As a result, the Panthers struck first in the extra period when senior Larry Harper made the most of the bonus by hitting a pair of free throws.
The Leopards responded with five straight points to take the lead. On the ensuing possession, Aljancic was left open on the right wing and buried a deep three to put LHS ahead 46-45. Louisville stopped Norton on defense and then worked the clock on offense. With 1:21 to go, Pickens bounced a pass to Noble who stepped back for a nothing but net jumper from the right elbow.
Panthers Held Scoreless from the Field in OT
The Leopards defense came up big again on the other end, but LHS was unable to convert from the line to go ahead two possessions. The Panthers missed on a fade away in the lane, but Reynolds came down with the offensive board. He was fouled on the put-back and converted both shots from the line to get Norton to within 48-47 with 35.1 seconds left to play.
With Louisville still holding the lead, the Panthers fouled immediately putting Noble at the line in the double bonus. Noble missed both shots, but alertly grabbed his own rebound on the second miss. He was again fouled instantly and this time converted both shots from the line to put the Leopards in front 50-47 with 30.9 seconds to go.
Louisville’s defense clamped down once again forcing the Panthers to attempt a deep game-tying three-pointer. Pickens and Noble both closed in on the threat forcing the shot to miss off the back of the rim and out of bounds. After a timeout, Noble made two more free throws from the charity stride to ice the game at 52-47 with 14.2 seconds left.
Norton’s final possession ended with Zack Seaman intercepting an inbound pass to seal the game. The Leopards defense successfully held the Panthers scoreless from the field for the entire duration of overtime and the final 4:43 of the contest overall.
Wallace Scores 14 to Lead Norton
Norton was led by senior Phillip Wallace who scored a team-high 14 points. All three other Panthers scorers also reached double figures and they included Reynolds with 12, Hirst with 11, and Harper with 10.
With the victory, the Leopards have now won 4 straight over the Panthers dating back to their 2018 DII Canton Sectional Semifinal. Louisville now holds a 4-1 edge in the all-time series, which includes a 2-0 record in games played at Norton. LHS is now 1-1 in overtime games this season.
UP NEXT: The Leopards will again hit the road to take on the Tallmadge Blue Devils on Friday, January 15. JV is slated to begin at 6:00 PM and. Varsity will follow around 7:30 PM.
LEOPARDS 52, PANTHERS 47
LEOPARDS:Noble 6 5-8 18, Pickens 5 1-1 11, Aljancic 3 0-0 8, Boldon 3 0-1 7, Hoffman 2 0-0 5, King 1 0-0 2, Seaman 0 1-4 1. TOTAL 20 7-14 52.
3-Pointers (5): Aljancic 2, Boldon, Hoffman, Noble
Team FT: 7-14 50%
PANTHERS: Wallace 6 1-1 14, Reynolds 5 2-3 12, Hirst 4 0-0 11, Harper 3 4-4 10. TOTAL 18 7-8 47.
3-Pointers (4): Hirst 3, Wallace
Team FT: 7-8 88%
Fouls: 15-13 Norton
Turnovers: 16-14 Louisville
Records: Louisville 4-5
JV: Norton 44, Louisville 32
PANTHERS 44, LEOPARDS 32
LEOPARDS: Rode 3 3-6 12, Cherry 1 7-12 10, Mueller 3 0-0 6, Vesely 2 0-0 4, Chambers 0 0-2 0. TOTAL 9 10-18 32.
3-Pointers (4): Rode 3, Cherry
Team FT: 10-18 56%
PANTHERS: Dobben 7 7-10 22, Dobbins 3 1-4 8, Willig 3 1-2 7, Etheridge 2 0-0 4, Hoffman 1 1-2 3, Tabka 0 0-1 0. TOTAL 16 10-19 44.
3-Pointers (2): Dobben, Dobbins
Team FT: 10-19 53%
Fouls: 20-17 Louisville
Turnovers: 15-14 Louisville
Records: Louisville 3-5