The Leo Lions used their most balanced effort of the season to get back on the winning track against Bishop McNamara on Tuesday, Feb. 2, at Leo. With all five starters scoring in double figures, Leo celebrated Senior Night and ended a two-game Catholic League losing streak with a 72-60 victory.
The Lions are 17-5 overall and 5-3 in Catholic League play heading into the regular-season finale at Brother Rice on Friday, Feb. 5. A pizza-and-drinks reception for alumni from both schools will be held at Brother Rice immediately after the game.
Darius Branch scored 18 points, Mykel Hampton had 15, Darias Oliver collected 13 and Chris Winters and Corielle Robinson added 12 apiece in the Bishop Mac game. Hampton had nine of his 15 during the second quarter, and Branch surpassed the 1,500-point mark for his Leo career while scoring 12 in the Lions’ 22-point third quarter.
Before the game, Leo recognized the parents and/or grandparents of the eight seniors on the varsity roster: Branch, Hampton, Jamil Green, Terrence Lee Jr., Harvey Moss, Oliver, Robinson and Winters.
The victory over Bishop Mac was a good bounce-back performance for the Lions. They’d hit their first rough patch of the season in back-to-back losses to Seton (63-52) and St. Laurence (67-58). The hosts’ pressure defense was the Lions’ undoing in the Seton game on Jan. 22, and St. Laurence used a barrage of three–pointers to disappoint a capacity crowd on Alumni Night at Leo on Jan. 29.
But Coach Shawn Frison’s team appears to be regaining its stride in time for the Catholic League playoffs and the IHSA state tournament. Based on this year’s enrollment, the Lions will compete in 1-A, the smallest of the four state tournament classes.