With their “Big Three” combining for 51 points, the Leo Lions completed a sweep of their first weekend play of 2018, downing Rich Central 68-51 in the Bob Hambric Shootout at Thornton Fractional North High School in Calumet City on Sunday, Jan. 7.
Two nights earlier, the Lions resumed conference play with a bang, routing Providence-St. Mel 73-55 in a Catholic League White game at Leo. The two wins moved the Lions up two spots in the Chicago Sun-Times’ area rankings, from No. 18 to No. 16, one week after they cracked the rankings for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
Junior DeChaun Anderson scored 19 points, and junior Fred Cleveland and senior Malcolm Bell contributed 16 apiece against Rich Central as the Lions improved to 9-5 overall, 3-2 in the Catholic League overall and 2-0 in the Catholic League White. Anderson was a force on the boards as well, surpassing 20 rebounds for the second straight game by grabbing 22.
Against Providence-St. Mel, Bell scored 20 of his game- and season-high 22 points in the first half as the Lions raced out to a 21-8 first-quarter lead. The Knights never got closer than nine points. Cleveland scored 15 of his 19 in the first half, adding nine assists and three steals, while Anderson was “the man” in the second half, scoring 16 of his 19 points and finishing with 22 rebounds.
Sophomore Kendale Anderson corralled 13 rebounds as the Anderson brothers combined to give Leo a decisive edge on the boards.
Next up for the Lions is a weekend road doubleheader. They’re at St. Francis of Wheaton for a Catholic League White game on Friday, Jan. 12 before visiting Tilden for a non-conference game on Saturday, Jan. 13.