A westward trek out 79th Street to Burbank turned into a pleasure trip for the Leo Lions on Friday, Jan. 17.
Six days after a 13-point spanking by Brother Rice on Alumni Night spoiled what would have been their most satisfying weekend of the season, the Lions bounced back with a 72-68 victory over St. Laurence in overtime, only the second Catholic League loss in eight conference games for the Vikings, who are 11-10 overall.
Leo (4-4, 9-9) climbed back to the .500 mark and completed a sweep of the tripleheader. The Lion freshmen (7-6) slipped past their St. Laurence counterparts 62-58, and the sophomores improved to 14-3 when Ja-Keem Cole nailed a three-pointer in the final seconds for a 60-59 victory over the Vikes.
Last year’s St. Laurence game was a nightmare for the Lions. The Vikings rolled to an 81-64 win before a packed house on Alumni Night at Leo as guards Trey Davis and Finn Wash combined for 51 points, 34 by Davis.
It was Leo’s guards who set the tone in the rematch as Terrance Ford scored a season-high 25 points, including two fourth-quarter three-pointers that erased St. Laurence’s four-point lead. LaShaun Glover added a season-best 19 while taking down nine rebounds. Kendale Anderson bounced back from a disappointing night against Brother Rice with a strong 14-and-12 double-double.
The Lions squandered a four-point halftime lead and trailed by three after three by managing just six points in the third quarter. But, as he’d done a week earlier with a game-winning three at Fenwick, Ford brought the Lions back with clutch shooting.
“Terrance really stepped up,” Coach Jamal Thompson said. “We talked to him during the week about not rushing, slowing down and letting the game come to him. That’s what he did tonight. It was a hard-fought game. Both teams played well.”
A season-best 15-for-16 showing at the free throw line helped Leo control the game in overtime.
The satisfying, well-played win was just what the Lions need going into one of their busiest weeks of the season. They’re at Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep (7-13) on Thursday, Jan. 23 for a nonconference triple-header, with the varsity game tipping off at 6:45 p.m. They visit winless St. Francis de Sales one night later for a Catholic League doubleheader, with a 7 p.m. varsity tip. They wrap up the weekend on Sunday against Public League powerhouse Morgan Park in the Breast Cancer Shootout at Orr. Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m.
Leo’s game against Morgan Park in the Breast Cancer Shootout at Orr High School will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 26, not Saturday, Jan. 25, as previously reported. Leo regrets the error.