Leopards Demolish NDCL, Avenge Football Loss – Boys Basketball
#9 Louisville 63, #18 NDCL 44
The #9 seed Louisville Leopards Boys Varsity Basketball Team defeated the visiting #18 seed Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin Lions 63-44 in the DII Northeast 2 Sectional Semifinals Tuesday Night at Louisville High School. With the victory, Louisville improves to 13-9 and advances to play at #7 seed Salem in the DII Northeast 2 Sectional Finals on Friday, February 26 at 7:00 PM.
Aljancic Hits Tournament Record 6 Three’s
Sophomore guard Will Aljancic made a team tournament record 6 three-pointers en rout to finishing as the game’s leading scorer with 23 points. Since being held scoreless at Massillon, Aljancic has scorched the nets with 20 three-pointers in his last four games. Senior forward Cory Noble scored all 12 of his points from the field and senior guard Dakota Hoffman also finished with 9 for LHS.
Leopards Lead Wire-to-Wire
The Leopards led throughout the entire contest. Senior forward Broc Pickens set the tone on the opening possession by gaining position inside for an easy lay-in via a pass from junior guard Tyler Boldon. Boldon picked off a Lions pass on the other end and that led to an Aljancic basket to make it 4-0.
Senior forward Noah Coyne answered with a three-pointer from the top of the arch on the other end to cut the deficit to 4-3. But Boldon matched it with a three from the left corner to reimburse the lead to four. A few possessions later, Boldon pulled down an offensive board and scored in the lane to put Louisville in front 9-3.
Louisville Pulls Away with 15-0 Run
The Leopards roared back with a 15-0 run and held the Lions scoreless for a span of 5:20. Hoffman exploded off the bench for a pair of baskets and Pickens added another lay-in to put Louisville ahead 19-13 at the end of the first quarter.
The Leopards then scored the first 10 points of the second quarter beginning with a pair of baskets from Noble. While the LHS defense kept NDCL quiet, Aljancic capped off the Louisville run with back-to-back three-pointers from the right wing and then the left wing.
Leopards Move On With Strong 2nd Half
Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin managed to shrink their disadvantage to six point in the third quarter at 33-27. The Leopards countered with 3 three-pointers by Aljancic as part of an 11-5 run that allowed them to retake a double digit advantage with 1:41 to go in the third.
Louisville took a 44-35 lead into the fourth and outscored the Lions in the final stanza 19-9 to seal the game. The Leopards shot just two free throws through the first three quarters of action, but iced the contest by making 11 of 14 shots from the charity stride in the fourth quarter. Eight different LHS players scored in the final period.
Coyne Leads NDCL with Team-High 22
Coyne scored in every quarter en rout to amassing a team-high 22 points to lead the Lions. Senior guard Owen Redmond also finished with 8, and both senior forward Jaiden Mangelluzzi and sophomore forward Noah Rogers added 6 each.
This was the first ever meeting between the two teams on the basketball court, but the two schools have now met 3 times in the postseason since 2019 in all sports. The Leopards were happy to avenge their 14-7 loss to the Lions earlier this school year on the gridiron in the opening round of the playoffs. Louisville also defeated NDCL 10-5 in the opening round of the 2019 Division II, Region 6 boys lacrosse tournament.
Louisville is now 54-87 all-time in the postseason dating back to 1932, but now hold a 5-2 record at home in the tournament. LHS is also 26-27 when competing in Division II since 1988.
UP NEXT: The #9 seed Leopards will next travel to face the #7 seed Salem Quakers on Friday, February 26 in the DII Northeast 2 Sectional Finals. Game time is set for 7:00 PM from John A. Cabas Gymnasium on the campus of Salem High School.
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LEOPARDS 63, LIONS 44
LIONS: Coyne 8 4-4 22, Redmon 3 1-1 8, Mangelluzzi 2 2-2 6, Rogers 3 0-0 6, Rowan 1 0-0 2, Kruschke 0 0-1 0. TOTAL 17 7-8 44.
3-Pointers (3): Coyne 2, Redmond
Team FT: 7-8 88%
LEOPARDS: Aljancic 8 1-2 23, Noble 6 0-0 12, Hoffman 3 3-5 9, Boldon 2 2-2 7, Pickens 2 2-2 6, King 0 3-4 3, Lingenhoel 1 0-0 2, Haren 0 1-2 1. TOTAL 22 12-16 63.
3-Pointers (7): Aljancic 6, Boldon
Team FT: 12-16 75%
Fouls: 16-10 NDCL
Turnovers: 15-9 NDCL
Records: Louisville 13-9