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Louisville Wins OT Nail-biter Vs. Canton South 43-41

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Louisville 43, Canton South 41, F/OT

Mike Kelly led the Leps with 18 points and hit 2 clutch free throws at the end of regulation to send the contest to overtime.  Cody Cheezan and Trevor Hostetler hit more timely free throws in the extra period that gave Louisville a well-earned and thrilling 43-41 win Friday night.  Cheezan and Jake O’brien also tagged on 8 points to help the Leopards earn their second straight home victory.

The majority of the stat sheet favored the Wildcats as they out-rebounded Louisville 30-17, they shot 42% from the field compared to the Leopards 33%, and they jumped out to a 16-7 lead to begin the game.  However, there was one area that the Leopards dominated the scorebook in and that was free throws.

The Leopards shot 16-of-24 from the line on the night, which included a 9 for 15 performance in the fourth quarter and overtime.  Meanwhile, South only made 8 of their 19 free throws for the evening.  Kelly alone hit 9 of 12 from the line including the two biggest ones of the night to tie the game at 40-40 with just 19 seconds left to play in regulation.

South turned the ball over out of bounds on the possession following those clutch freebies, but nearly took the ball back from Louisville in the backcourt.  A jump ball was ruled and Leopards fans breathed a sigh of relief as the red arrow pointed towards the home side of the scoreboard.  A 70-foot shot by Kelly at the buzzer fell short sending the Leopards to their their third overtime game of the season.

In the extra period, both teams failed to score on their initial possessions.  After that the game turned into a free throw shooting contest.  Cheezan sunk two shots from the line with 2:29 left in the extra period to give Louisville a 42-40 lead.

While South held Louisville scoreless from the field for the final four minutes, the Leopards did not allow the Wildcats to score until Trey Taylor sunk the front end of a pair of free throws with 3.9 seconds remaining cutting the South deficit to 42-41.  Taylor would lead the Wildcats with 13 points, but it was the shot he didn’t get that allowed Louisville to prevail.

His potential game-tying second free throw drew the front of the iron and Billy Lairson was there to snag the rebound for Louisville.  A quick pass and a foul put Hostetler at the line for a double bonus opportunity.  He made the first shot to give the Leps a 43-41 lead, but clanked the second.  South quickly got the rebound and called timeout with just 0.9 left.  Taylor caught the inbound pass in front of half court and his shot just missed its target.

The blue and white survived and leapfrogged the red and grey in the NBC Standings leaving them in 6th place at 4-9 overall and 3-6 in the conference.  The Leopards are playing their best ball of the season and are poised to make some serious noise against the remaining schedule.


  • Louisville has now won the last 7 out of 8 meetings against Canton South, including 4 straight at home.
  • This is the second consecutive year that the Leopards and Wildcats have gone to overtime when playing at Louisville.  The Leopards won 58-57 in overtime last year when Mike Kelly hit a three-pointer with seconds remaining.  View FULL STORY, PICTURES, and HIGHLIGHTS from that game
  • According to our records, this is the first season that Louisville has gone to overtime 3 or more times since 1981-82 in which they played 4 overtimes all against Federal League foes.  This including going to OT twice against Jackson, once against Perry, and also falling in a double overtime thriller to Canton South.  View the 1981-82 Season.



WILDCATS: Taylor 4 5-9 13, Deckerd 3 1-3 9, Smith 4 1-2 9, Fontes 3 1-4 8, Jolliff 1 0-0 2, Lyon 0 0-1 0.  TOTALS 15 8-19 41.

TEAM FG: 15-36 42%

TEAM 3PT: 3-13 23% | Deckerd (2), Fontes (1)

TEAM FT: 8-19 42%

LEOPARDS: Kelly 4 9-12 18, Cheezan 2 4-4 8, O’brien 3 0-0 8, Lairson 2 0-0 4, Carter 1 0-0 2, Hostetler 0 1-2 1, Meredith 0 1-2 1, Schooley 0 1-2 1, Crank 0 0-2 0.  TOTALS 12 16-24 43.

TEAM FG: 12-36 33%

TEAM 3PT: 3-14 21% | O’brien (2), Kelly (1)

TEAM FT: 16-24 67%

Team 1-2-3-4-OT-Total

Canton South 10-12-7-11-1–41

Louisville 7-12-11-10-3–43

Rebounds: Canton South 30-17

Fouls: Canton South 21-17

Records: Louisville 4-9, 3-6; Canton South 5-9, 3-7

NEXT UP: The Leopards will next travel to Carrollton to take on the Warriors on Tuesday, January 31.  JV will tip-off at 6:00 and Varsity will follow at approximately 7:30.  This is game was originally scheduled for January 20, but was rescheduled.  The Warriors have taken the last 3 games in the series, but the Leps won the 3 meetings before that.  Louisville holds a 33-11 record over Carrollton in NBC games all-time beginning when Louisville joined the conference in the 1989-90 season.





Louisville 46, Canton South 30

Andy Minster scored 11 of his game-high 18 points in the first quarter as the Leopards opened up a 17-9 lead to start the game.  Minster would hit 4 three-pointers on the night and his brother AJ Minster would also score 9 points during the Leps 46-30 victory.  The Leps defensively held South to just 9 second half points to help seal the win.  The Wildcats were paced by Jacob Dubina’s 9 points.  When the Minster’s were not scoring, Joey Duckworth, Kyle Bast, and Ronnie Carter provided the other 19 Leopards points.  The JV squad is now 8-5 overall and 6-3 in the NBC.



WILDCATS: Dubina 4 1-4 9, Tharp 2 0-2 5, Mark Nicoletti 1 2-2 4, Matt Nicoletti 2 0-0 4, Colberson 1 1-2 3, Ickes 1 1-1 3, Crum 0 1-2 1, Newell 0 1-2 1.  TOTALS 11 7-15 30

3PT: 1 | Tharp (1)

TEAM FT: 7-15 47%

LEOPARDS: Andy Minster 7 0-0 18, AJ Minster 4 1-2 9, Duckworth 4 0-0 8, Bast 3 1-4 7, Carter 2 0-0 4.  TOTALS 20 2-6 46.

3PT: 4 | Andy Minster (4)

TEAM FT: 2-6 33%

Team 1-2-3-4–Total

Canton South 9-12-4-5–30

Louisville 17-12-7-10–46

Fouls: Louisville 17-9

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