March 6th, 2021

DeSales Wins Schools First LIT


Ed Peak

Staff Writer

DeSales Wins Schools First LIT
photo by Ed Peak

 DeSales 74, Ballard 73, overtime. History was made Saturday night at Valley as the Colts won their first ever Republic Bank Louisville Invitational Tournament. It was a gut wrenching game that had several twist and turns.


No team led by more than four points after halftime. Both teams made clutch shots from the field and neither team gave an inch. It just so happened DeSales had one more point at the end.


"Honestly, it feels like a dream," said senior Luke Thompson who finished with 13 points and made several clutch plays. "I can't even put into words what it means it is so shocking."


No. 10 DeSales (16-5) in the finals for only the second time and first since 1979. took advantage of back to back turnovers by No. 4 Ballard. DeSales' Devin Perry's layup with 53.7 seconds in regulation tied the game 67-67. After another Ballard miscue DeSales had the ball but Perry turned the ball over and that setup overtime.


Thompson' three point basket with 2:09 gave the Colts a one point lead, but Ballard's Keno Hayden layup gave the Bruins a 71-70 lead. Here is where DeSales took control as Sekou Kalle, the tournaments Most Valuable Players put in a rebound basket and made two free throws for a 74-71 lead with 1:11.


Kalle, an Akron signee, finished with 24 points and 18 rebounds and seem to out play Ballard big man Maker Barr.

"There was a lot of trashing talking," said Kalle. "But it was good. I got the trophy."

Ballard (14-2) the defending champion didn't fold. Gabe Sisk layup with 37.8 remaining got the Bruins with one. Keno Hayden missed a long jump shot form the far left and Kalle rebounded. He was fouled but missed both foul shots with 2.1. Kalle was just four of 14 from the line.


The Bruins got off a desperation shot that was short and wide shot as the horn sounded.


The DeSales players stormed the court and the student section went wild.  


Perry finished with 24 points and had six assist. He was named to the All-Tournament team along with Keith Robinson.

It was the second straight strong game by Thompson who added 13 points including three of five three point baskets. "We had that fight in us that DeSales has. We've always been known to work had, fight hard to the end."


DeSales an 88-83 loser to Ballard two weeks ago in a regular season game made 28 of 56 for 50 percent including 10 of 24 threes. The Colts had 14 assist on 28 made field goals and out rebounded Ballard 40-35.


"I was just proud of the guys the way they fought," said DeSales coach Damien Anderson. "I've been saying all year we've been getting better and better. That's just another step in our journey." 


Ballard a favorite to win the Seventh Region shot 42.2 percent from the field (27 of 64) for 42.8 percent and were eight of 28 on threes for 28.6 percent.

"If your going to try to seal a game, you have to take care of the ball and make free throws," said Ballard coach Chris Renner. "There were a lot of little things we didn't do."


Renner was impressed with the matchup between the two big men. "They were the two best players on the floor."


On the other end Anderson was smiling enjoying the moment.

"I'm just sitting back watching the guys, its fun. This school had never done this so it's really fun," said Anderson. "I'm just loving it."


DeSales won't have long to celebrate as the Colts play at Butler, Monday, for the top seed in the 22nd District.

"We'll enjoy this tonight and get back at it with a walk through," said Anderson.


Could more history be in the future for these Colts?


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