The Leo Lions beat Batavia 51-36 Tuesday night in the second round of the 2021 Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament at York High School in Elmhurst.

Leo advanced to Wednesday’s 5 p.m. showdown with top-seeded Glenbard West (11-0), regarded as the No. 1 team in the area by prep sports outlets.

A scrappy Leo team brought its defense to bear on the taller Batavia squad.  At the outset of the fourth quarter, Jakeem Cole’s three-pointer off a well-executed three-man weave extended Leo’s lead to 36-26 and gave the young Lions control of the contest. Cole finished with 10.

Leo was led by Jerrod Gee, Jr.’s 13 points, followed by Cameron Cleveland’s nine points and five rebounds. Leo shot 52% from the field but the same from the charity stripe. Leo was outrebounded 35-20 but outhustled the bigger Batavia team for long rebounds and loose balls, many converted into layups.

Knotted at 21 at half, Leo outscored Batavia 30-15 in the second half. For the game, an outsized Leo was victorious on the strength of 12 steals, 11 assists and a vast improvement on its turnover rate from opening night.

The 32-team Tosh Classic is quickly gaining favor as the strongest overall field in this year’s holiday tournament realm, led by the undefeated Glenbard West.  The Hilltoppers are the No. 1 team in the Chicago Sun-Times’ metro-area rankings, and 6-foot-10 senior Braden Huff is considered one of the state’s top college prospects. He led a balanced attack in a tidy 67-40 victory over St. Patrick.

COVID exposure continues to be a concern with the Leo administration taking all measures in keeping everybody safe.

We will keep you abreast of further developments, advise caution and continue to pray for your health and safety.  Games streamed on YouTube can be found @JackToshHC.

 —The Leo Team