By Dan McGrath

The game wasn’t great, but the free-throw contest was pretty interesting. 

The Leo Lions pinned a 54-44 defeat on Aurora Central Catholic in a Catholic League crossover game at Leo Tuesday night, scoring half their points at the foul line. 

The officials were the game’s most active participants, calling it closer than close as both teams favored clingy man-to-man defense.

They shot 64 free throws combined. The Lions were 27-for-36 at the line; the Chargers were 17-for-28, and therein lies the 10-point differential. 

“Clap it up for Marlo,” Leo Coach Jamille Ridley said of junior guard Marlo Moore, who went 13-for-15 at the line while scoring a game-high 20 points with four assists and only two turnovers against constant pressure. 

None of the other Lions reached double figures, but nine of them scored, with freshmen Brian Kizer, Nate Stephens, Karon Shavers and Tyrell Keys combining for 17 points. Shavers couldn’t get his shot to drop, but he was all over the floor on defense and helped Moore keep Leo’s turnovers to a minimum against ACC’s scrambling press. 

Bernard Fellows (15) and Ethan Lewis (13) combined for 28 of the visitors’ 44 points, but it might have been a closer game if they’d done better than 13-for-24 at the line. The Chargers fell to 9-11, 0-5. 

The Lions (8-10, 2-4) equaled last seasons’s victory total with their fifth win in six games, but Ridley’s advice was to sleep fast. They’re back at it Wednesday night, facing the University of Chicago Lab School (U-High) at Leo. Tip-off is at 6:30 p.m.