The Leo Lions will be going into the state basketball tournament play as the owners of some impressive hardware: awards for player of the year, coach of the year and three all-conference citations.
Coming off a 75-44 victory over Marmion that enabled them to run the table (8-0) in the Chicago Catholic League White Division, the Lions will take a 19-5 overall record and a 12-game winning streak into Tuesday’s IHSA Class 2A regional opener against Noble Street DRW Trading (7-17), which downed CCIS Ellison 56-50 in a first-round game at Marshall High School on Monday.
Host Marshall (7-17) and Chicago Tech Charter Academy (19-4) are the other regional participants; they’ll meet in a first-round game on Wednesday, Feb. 21, with the Tuesday and Wednesday winners playing for the regional title on Friday, Feb. 23.
Tuesday’s game begins at 5 p.m. The regional championship game starts at 6.
Leo junior Fred Cleveland capped a memorable regular season by receiving the Lawless Award as Player of the Year in the Catholic League White Division in a vote by conference coaches. After averaging almost 19 points and seven assists per game, Cleveland also made the six-man All-Catholic League team, encompassing both the White and Blue divisions.
Fellow junior DaChaun Anderson (14 points, 15 rebounds per game) joined Cleveland on the All-Catholic team, making the Lions the only CCL team with two players chosen. Cleveland, Anderson and senior Malcolm Bell (15 points, seven rebounds per game) were also unanimous picks for the White Division all-conference team.
Coach Shawn Frison, who is 63-22 in his three seasons as Leo’s coach, also received a Lawless Award (his first) as White Division Coach of the Year.
Dan McGrath ’68