Leopards Fall to Triway, Finish as District Runner-Up at 17-8 – Boys Basketball
#1 Triway 51, #2 Louisville 37
The #2 Seed Louisville Leopards Boys Basketball Team fell to the #1 Seed Triway Titans in the DII Canton District Championship Game Saturday at Canton Memorial Fieldhouse. With the loss, Louisville finishes the 2019-2020 campaign with a record of 17-8.
Scotty Gronow scored the Leopards first 9 points of the game in finishing with a team-high 13 to lead Louisville. Collin Chambers also scored 7 of his 12 points in the second half and Dakota Hoffman added 6 points for the Leopards.
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Triway Takes Early Double Digit Lead
Triway scored the first 6 points of the contest and never surrendered their lead throughout. The Titans led 11-6 at the end of the first quarter and pulled ahead 17-6 at the 6:20 mark of the second quarter. An NBA range three-pointer by Chance Wells put Triway ahead 20-9 at the 5:19 mark of the second quarter.
Leopards Rally with 11-0 Run Before Halftime.
The Titans wouldn’t score again in the first half as the Leopards defense shut them down during a furious 11-0 run to tie the game at 20-20. Hoffman went hard to the hole between two Triway defenders and scored on an acrobatic layup to start the Louisville run. Cory Noble intercepted a pass on the next defensive possession and hustled to grab an offensive rebound on the other end. Chambers drew a three-point shooting foul with the extra opportunity and made 2 of 3 free throw attempts from the line to cut the deficit to 20-13.
Some quick Titans passing on their next possession appeared to set them up with a wide open lane to the hoop. But Colton Jones flew in for a huge block to give the ball back to the Leopards. Chambers brought the ball down the court and no one picked him up. He made Triway pay for the lapse by burying a three at the top of the key to make it 20-16. The Titans immediately burned their first timeout as the LHS crowd roared in delight.
Suffocating Louisville defense by Ryan Pukys, Davis Burick, and Hoffman forced another Triway turnover on the ensuing possession. Chambers was relentless grabbing an offensive board on his own miss between five Titan defenders. He pulled down another offensive rebound seconds later generating a third chance opportunity. He kicked the ball out to Jones who passed it back to Burick inside for two points.
Nursing a 20-18 lead with under a minute to go, the Titans looked to wait for the last shot and go into the half ahead. Pukys wasn’t interested in making it easy for them and continued to force Triway to be active with the basketball. But he was called for a tick-tack foul forcing the Titans to inbound. Jones and Pukys trapped and Pukys deflected a pass into the backcourt. Pukys retrieved it and took it to the house tying the game at 20-20 with seconds to go before halftime.
Triway air-balled a shot out of bounds on the other end and Louisville took the ball back with 2.4 seconds. A well executed play nearly allowed the Leopards to snatch the lead before halftime. Gronow’s three-point off the glass make came after the buzzer though and the game remained tied at 20-20 as the teams trotted into the locker room.
Back-and-Forth Start to the Second Half
The two teams battled back and forth to start the second half. The Titans took a 24-20 lead and the Leopards answered to knot the game at 24-24. Triway went ahead by four points again and Louisville cut the lead to 28-26 as Hoffman scored over a double team with 3:19 to play in the third.
Triway Pulls Away with 10-0 Run
The Titans took the game over from there with a 10-0 run that spanned over six minutes into the fourth quarter. The Leopards for the most part had shutdown Triway’s inside game in the first half, but Kyle Sturgin changed the script scoring 10 of his 14 points in the second half working the paint.
Chambers hit a three-ball at the 5:14 mark of the fourth quarter to stop the bleeding and cut the deficit to single digits at 38-29. But the Titans kept coming and their defense held Louisville scoreless from the field the rest of the way. The Leopards would get as close as 42-34, but Triway would hit 6 of 9 free throws to salt the game away. The Titans largest lead came at the end of the contest marking history with a deceiving final tally.
The Titans were led by Wells who scored a game-high 15 points. Sturgin also scored 14 and Bryce Biggs added 11 for THS.
Louisville Vs. Triway Series
Louisville has now lost their last 6 meetings against Triway after defeating the Titans in their first 3 meetings in the early 1990’s. All nine meetings have come in the tournament and all nine were played at Canton Memorial Fieldhouse. The Leopards are 1-2 in District Finals against the Titans. They defeated Triway 57-49 in the 1993 DII Canton District Championship and were edged by the Titans 46-45 in the 2000 DII Canton District Final.
LHS is now 53-84 all-time in tournament play compiling known records dating back to the 1932 season. Louisville is now 25-27 in Division II dating back to 1988 (not counting 2012-2017 in Division I) when boys basketball moved from three to four divisions.
Louisville is now 53-83 all-time in the postseason in known records dating back to 1932. The Leopards are now 25-26 when competing in the Division II tournament.
TITANS 51, LEOPARDS 37
LEOPARDS: Gronow 3 5-6 13, Chambers 4 2-3 12, Hoffman 2 2-2 6, Burick 1 1-4 3, Pukys 1 0-0 2, Staley 0 1-2 1. TOTAL 11 11-17 37.
3-Pointers (4): Chambers 2, Gronow 2
Team FT: 11-17 65%
TITANS: Chance Wells 6 2-2 15, Sturgin 7 0-0 14, Biggs 4 1-2 11, Channer Wells 3 0-0 6, Nolen 0 4-4 4, Miller 0 1-3 1. TOTAL 20 8-11 51.
3-Pointers (3): Biggs 2, Wells
Team FT: 8-11 73%
Fouls: 19-15 Triway
Turnovers: 14-10 Louisville
Records: Louisville 17-8