Winning streak at 6
On the surface, the Leo Lions’ 78-45 victory over Johnson College Prep on Saturday, Jan.20, at Leo looks like an offensive explosion. All 11 of the Leo players who suited up got playing time, and nine of them scored. Plus 78 points is a healthy output for a 32-minute high school game.
But the Lions won the game with their defense.
They broke an 11-all tie with an 18-0 run covering five minutes of the first and second quarters. They then pitched a shutout in the third period, outscoring the Pumas 19-0 and building a lead that reached 40 points.
Now 13-5 overall, the Lions completed a weekend sweep with their sixth straight win. They beat Bishop McNamara 69-53 at Leo one night earlier to improve to 4-0 in the Catholic League White and 5-2 in CCL play overall.
Junior center DeChaun Anderson had a monster game against Bishop Mac, scoring a season-high 28 points and pulling down 18 rebounds. The visitors hit eight of 11 first-quarter shots and led by two after the first period, but the Lions turned up the defensive intensity in the second and third quarters and held Bishop Mac to 22 points total. Top scorer Fred Cleveland managed just 11 points, but he also contributed seven assists and five steals, while sophomore Jadon Williams collected 10 points.
Senior forward Malcolm Bell sat out the game to rest a sore knee, but junior Rod-Shad Woods (six points, four assists, three steals) and sophomore Kevin Drumgoole played productive minutes in Bell’s absence as Coach Shawn Frison seeks to improve Leo’s depth for the challenges ahead.
Cleveland was back in shooting form against Johnson, scoring 14 of his game-high 23 points in the first half. Bell returned to add 10, while the Anderson brothers combined for 21 points and 22 rebounds: nine and 12 for DeChaun, 12 and 10 for Kendale.
Coach Frison went to his bench early and often in an effort not to embarrass Pumas coach Keelan Donald, a 2004 Leo grad and a starter for the Lions’ 2004 Class-A state champions. Woods once again made the most of his increased playing time.
The Lions are back on the road next weekend, traveling to New Lenox to face Providence Catholic in a conference game (7 p.m.) on Friday, Jan. 26. One day later they’ll play Public League contender Uplift in the Orr Breast Cancer Shootout at Orr High School at 730 North Pulaski on Chicago’s West Side. Game time is 1:30 p.m.
Dan McGrath ’68, President
Leo High School