By Dan McGrath

The entertainment was first rate: a world-renowned Leo Choir national anthem, a spectacular halftime performance by the Jesse White Tumblers. 

The basketball … not so much. The Leo Lions ran into a Fenwick team that was a little older, a little stronger and—let’s be candid—a little better and took a 44-29 whipping Friday on Alumni Night at Leo. 

Whether it was zone or man-to-man, Fenwick (12-7, 5-2 Catholic League) was aggressive, intelligent and effective on defense, forcing Leo into 29 percent shooting and 19 turnovers. Given the pace of the game, the Lions (9-11, 2-5) were finished. 

Leo had won six of its previous seven games. “This is on me,” Coach Jamille Ridley insisted. “We were not prepared, which means I did not prepare them. What we had done in winning six of seven, we did not do tonight. 

“But I’m going to get better from this, and I’m going to challenge our guys to get better as well. What’s in front of us is tougher than what we’ve faced so far.”

The Lions were within three (16-13) after the first quarter, but would manage only three points in the second as turnovers and missed shots enabled the Friars to sneak away. Fenwick led by 10 at halftime, and the lead never got smaller.

Kamron Hogan led the Friars with 14 points and Ty Macuriola scored 13. Marlo Moore had 10 for Leo. 

Next up for the Lions: CVS in the Chops Billinger Shootout at Whitney Young on Sunday, Jan. 21. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:15 p.m.