By Dan McGrath
It was Alumni Night at Leo, and a near-capacity crowd on hand to salute the late Bill Holland ’73 was treated to two minutes of impressive basketball as the Lions jumped out to a 7-0 lead over Catholic League powerhouse Mt. Carmel.
Then talent asserted itself. The Caravan (8-0 Catholic League, 19-2 overall) responded with 13 straight points and was off and running to a 75-41 victory on Friday, Jan. 20, saddling the Lions (1-7, 5-14) with a seventh straight conference loss.
Carmel’s Deandre Craig, a quick, powerful, 6-foot-1 guard who is a Division I prospect, was quietly effective with 17 points, 10 in the second half. On defense he was a nightmare for Leo’s young guards, forcing them into hurried, ill-advised passes that led to turnover after turnover.
The Caravan’s alternative weapons did just as much damage, as senior guard Anthony Ciavarino scored 13 of his team-high 20 in the first quarter and younger brother Angelo, a junior forward, collected 12 of his 14 in the second. Along with Craig and 6-foot-5 center Lee Marks, they were part of a vigorous defensive effort that suggests Carmel will be a handful for any and all Catholic League opponents.
Senior Keeland Jordan scored 20 for Leo, but the other eight players Coach Jamille Ridley used combined for 21 total.
Bill Holland, a former Leo football captain, student body president and Class of ’73 valedictorian, passed away in June, and his family and friends are funding a scholarship in his honor. Proceeds from Alumni Night ticket sales and the sale of special “Blackout Night” T-shirts will be added to money previously raised to cover tuition and fees for two Leo students.
The Carmel game was the first of a weekend triple-header for the Lions. They face Glenbrook South in a nonconference game at Leo (1:30 tipoff) on Saturday, Jan. 21, then travel to north to play Perspectives in the Whitney Young Shootout at 1:30 on Sunday, Jan. 22.