Leopards Fend Off Battling Bees 49-44 to Advance to District Title – Boys Basketball

Louisville Leopards Basketball Team District Semifinal Pregame 2024

#4 Louisville 49, #26 Medina 44

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The #4 seed Louisville Leopards Boys Basketball Team defeated the #26 seed Medina Battling Bees 49-44 in the DI Northeast 2 District Semifinals Wednesday Night at Harry Fails Gymnasium. With their ninth straight victory, Louisville improves to 23-2 on the season and advances to the DI Northeast 2 District Championship Game Saturday at 2:00 PM back at Alliance High School. They will take on the winner of the #9 GlenOak Golden Eagles Vs. #17 Canton McKinley Bulldogs district semifinal game that will take place at AHS Thursday.

View Recap | View Box Score

Aljancic Scores 15, Leads Early Onslaught

Junior guard Tate Aljancic scored 8 of his team high 15 points within the first five minutes of the contest in leading the Leopards to their third district title game appearance in the last five seasons. 

Neither team scored on their opening possession. Then senior guard Brock Beech hit a three-pointer from the right corner to get the Bees on the board first. Aljancic reset the tone on the polar opposite end of the court by swishing home a three-pointer from the right corner to knot the game at 3-3.

Medina wasted no time in answering back within seconds on the other end and it appeared we could have a track meet ensuing. However, neither team would break the 50-point mark for the game.

My Fit Life Personal Trainer Side AdLouisville responded with the next 8 points, the largest run by either team throughout the game, to take an 11-5 lead. Aljancic bounced a pass to junior guard Avery Andrejcik who rattled home a three-pointer from the left wing. Andrejcik would return the favor by providing assists on the next two baskets that were scored by Aljancic. That prompted the Bees to call timeout and the Leopard coaches and players exploded off the bench to praise the starting five.

Aljancic broke open again underneath and was fouled goin in for a lay in. He split a pair of free throws from the line to cap off the 8-0 run that made it 11-5 Leopards with 3:13 to go in the first quarter.

Siegfried Breaks Single Season Assists Record

Lingenhoel Group - Arden and Lisa Lingenhoel - Cutler Real Estate AdJuniors Ashton Marshall and Kolton Loy each recorded field goals to close the opening stanza as Louisville took a 15-11 lead into the second quarter. Marshall’s layup was scored virtue of a bounce pass from the left wing into the lane by fellow junior point guard Beau Siegfried. The assist by Siegfried was his 171st of the season tying him with Kyle Radcliff who has held the single season high mark since he set it during the 1995-96 season.

Siegfried wasted no time in passing him as the Leopards began the second quarter with the basketball. He drove the ball to the left elbow and pulled in a pair of defenders. Siegfried then kicked out to the wide open Andrejcik who buried a three-pointer from the left wing to make it 18-11. The dish was the 172nd of the season for Siegfried and he now stands alone atop the LHS single season leaderboard for assists.

Bees Battle Back to Force Halftime Tie

Equitable Advisors - Bryce MathieLouisville would maintain a 20-13 advantage before the Medina ripped off seven straight points to knot the game at 20-20. About a minute later, the Bees re-captured the lead on Beech’s second three-pointer from the right corner. Beech would finish with 7 points in the second quarter.

Leopard junior guard Hayden Nigro would cash in on a pair of free throws with 51.5 seconds left to account for the final points of the first half. The two teams went into the locker room tied at 23-all.

Louisville Ends on Top of Seesaw 3rd Quarter

The lead exchanged hands seven times in the third quarter. Trailing 32-31, Louisville took control of the contest with back-to-back three-pointers by Andrejcik and then Aljancic to put the Leopards in front 37-32 with a little under ten minutes of game time remaining. Nigro, who matched Andrejcik with a team high 5 assists, fed each sharp shooter.

Aljancic and Andrejcik both finished with 3 three-pointers each to account for all of Louisville’s baskets from beyond the arch. Andrejcik’s third quarter triple put him in double figures as he would end the evening with 11.

Unbeknownst to all in attendance, those two three-pointers would be the Leopards final field goals of the game.

Leopards Never Surrender Lead in 4th

Medina cut the Louisville lead to 37-34 at the end of the third quarter. What ensued after that seemed almost hypnotic.

Neither team was able to change the digits on the scoreboard for nearly half the quarter. Junior guard Kellon Johnson hit the back end of a pair of free throws to break the spell and get the Battling Bees to within 37-35 with 4:01 to play.

The Leopards held the ball for the next two minute patiently waiting for the best shot that never came to fruition. After a number of fouls by Medina, Louisville finally entered the bonus with 1:51 left in the game. Siegfried made both free throws from the line to put the Leopards ahead 39-35.

Both teams split free throw attempts on their next possession leaving the Leopards in front by a 4-point margin. However, the margin grew when Aljancic recorded a steal off a deflection to steal a possession away from the Bees. Louisville went back quickly the other way and Marshall was fouled in the lane with 57.3 seconds to play. He hit both shot attempts to increase the Leopard advantage to 41-35.

Louisville Clinches 1st DI District Title Berth

This back-and-forth exchange of Medina baskets versus Louisville free throw attempts ensued throughout the final minute of play. The Battling Bees got to within 45-42 and 47-44 before Nigro sealed the game with a pair of makes from the charity stride with 3.0 seconds remaining that put the Leopards in front by two possessions at 49-44.

After one last prayer put up by Medina from half court, Louisville celebrated its first ever berth in a Division I District Championship game. This is just the sixth Leopards team in program history to advance to a district final game, with the other five occurrences all coming in Division II.

Strange Stats & a Total Team Effort

The 49 points scored is a season low for Louisville who has not been held under 50 since their 49-48 district semifinal loss to Walsh Jesuit last season. The Leopards won the game despite being outscored from the field 8-0 in the fourth quarter and not registering a shot attempt from the floor for nearly the last five minutes of game time. Ultimately Louisville won the game at the line burying 12-of-14 (85.7%) free throws in the fourth quarter and finishing 17-of-22 (77.3%) from the line for the game.

The Leopards were without 1st Team All-Area junior forward Brayden Gross who sustained an injury during Louisville’s sectional championship win over Akron Firestone last week. The Leopards other two 1st Team All-Area players didn’t make a single shot from the field and only combined for 10 points (Nigro 7 and Siegfried 3) between them from the foul line. 

Now if you were told prior to Wednesday Night that Louisville was going to score under 50 and the Leopards top three players would be held to just 10 points, what would you have thought the outcome would be? Yet, Louisville still walked away with the win.

Why? The rest of the Leopards team stepped up big when it mattered most. Aljancic and Andrejcik both reached double figures and combined for over half the teams points with 26. Loy also tacked on 7 and Marshall added 6. Louisville was also dominate on the boards creating second chance opportunities on offense and limiting Medina’s possessions on the defensive end.

Beech Scores Game High 18 to Lead Bees

Beech hit a pair of three-pointers and scored a game high 18 points to lead Medina. Junior forward Jase Holland, Johnson, and senior guard Connor Smith also scored 7 each. Senior guard J.T. Mog rounded out the Battling Bees scoring with 5.

The loss snaps Medina’s three-game winning streak as they finish the season with a 14-11 record.

This was the first known meeting between the two teams in boys basketball.

Leopards Tie Record for Most Team Wins

The victory is the Leopards 23rd of the season, which ties the team record. Their 23-2 mark matches the final record of the 1992-93 team, the only other LHS team in program history to reach 23 victories.

Louisville is now 63-90 all-time in the postseason with a 6-7 record when playing in Division I. Head Coach Tom Siegfried now holds a winning record in the tournament at 17-16. Siegfried and the Leopards will look to keep that winning mark when they return to Alliance to play for a District Title on Saturday.

<<< 2024 Vs. Firestone | Tournament History

UP NEXT:The Leopards will next take on the the winner of #9 GlenOak/#17 Canton McKinley in the DI Northeast 2 District Championship game on Saturday, March 9. Game time is slated for 2:00 PM from Alliance High School’s Harry Fails Gymnasium.

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Louisville Vs. Medina Boys Basketball Statistics


Team 1-2-3-4–TOTAL

Medina 11-12-11-10–44

Louisville 15-8-14-12–49 

Medina Battling Bees Boys Basketball Box Score

Player 2PT 3PT FG FTM FTA Points
Brock Beech 5 2 7 2 2 18
Jase Holland 2 1 3 0 0 7
Kellon Johnson 3 0 3 1 2 7
Connor Smith 3 0 3 1 4 7
J.T. Mog 1 1 2 0 0 5
TOTAL 14 4 18 4 8 44

Louisville Leopards Boys Basketball Box Score

Player 2PT 3PT FG FTM FTA Points
Tate Aljancic 2 3 5 2 4 15
Avery Andrejcik 1 3 4 0 0 11
Kolton Loy 3 0 3 1 2 7
Hayden Nigro 0 0 0 7 8 7
Ashton Marshall 1 0 1 4 4 6
Beau Siegfried 0 0 0 3 4 3
TOTAL 7 6 13 17 22 49

Fouls: 19-14 Medina

Records: Louisville 23-2, Medina 14-11

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