Tired legs were the Leo Lions’ undoing as they failed to follow up on their big victory over De La Salle in games against Providence Catholic and Hales. Leo lost 60-51 at Providence and 55-47 to Hales at home, completing a taxing stretch of seven games in 11 nights with a 4-3 record.
The Lions are off until Friday, Dec. 19, when they face Brother Rice. It’s Leo’s home game,. but it will be played at the Shannon Center on the St. Xavier University campus, 103rd and Central Park, to accommodate what is expected to be a large crowd. Game time is 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 and are available at both schools, as well as at the door.
Here’s a recap of the season thus far:
HALES 55, LEO 47, Dec. 13 at Leo
The Lions overcame a sluggish start and jumped out to a 29-20 halftime lead by limiting the Spartans to two points in the second period. But Hales switched to a 1-3-1 zone that denied the Lions penetration, and its inside game was dominant during a 24-point fourth quarter that broke the game open. DARIAS OLIVER led the Lions with 19 points.
PROVIDENCE 60, LEO 51, Dec. 12 at Providence
Fresh off their big victory over De La Salle, the Lions may have been looking ahead to Hales. The Celtics seized an early lead with uncanny three-point shooting, then spread the court and won the game with free-throw shooting. Oliver and DARIUS BRANCH scored 17 points apiece for the Lions, who never led in the game and got within two points only once.
LEO 64, DE LA SALLE 58, Dec. 9 at Leo
The tall, talented Meteors have three players with Division I college scholarships on their roster, but Oliver outplayed them all, scoring a career-high 37 points and taking down 14 rebounds as Leo built a 41-26 halftime lead and held off several De La Salle runs for its fourth victory in five games. Branch had 14 points and seven assists, KEWAN SMITH had eight points and seven assists, and TERRENCE LEE did an outstanding job as point man in a 3-1 zone defense the Lions used to challenge the De La Salle shooters and negate its size advantage.