Lions basketball update

The Leo Lions squared their Catholic League basketball record at 1-1 and raised their overall mark to 5-2 with a weekend sweep of Providence Catholic and Little Village on Dec. 9-10.

Senior Mario Pittman, who underwent knee surgery in early fall, celebrated his return to the Lions’ lineup with 11 points in Leo’s 33-29 victory at Providence. Senior Mike Simmons and sophomore Dachaun Anderson scored nine points each for Leo on a night when defense was dominant.

Junior Malcolm Bell remains a go-to guy at crunch time for the Lions. At the Woodridge Shootout in Norridge on Dec. 4, Bell’s block in the final seconds denied Lincoln Park an attempt at a game-tying shot, and Leo held on for a 60-58 victory. Against Providence he beat the halftime buzzer with a three-pointer from the deep corner, sending the Lions to the locker room with a one-point lead after they had trailed for most of the half.

Leo added Little Village to the schedule to fill openings after Hales Franciscan and Seton Academy ceased operations this year. All 14 of the players who suited up for the Lions saw considerable playing time, and 11 of them scored, with senior Joe Yuknis collecting a career-high eight points in a 91-19 mismatch at Leo on Dec. 10.

After a nonconference road game at CCIS Ellison (the former Little Flower) on Wednesday, Dec. 14, the Lions will face Mount Carmel in their Catholic League home opener at Leo on Dec. 16. Four games in the Big Dipper Holiday Tournament at Rich South close out the 2016 portion of the schedule.