Leo stymies Batavia in second half

Updated 12/28/2021 8:58 PM

Trent Tousana was smashed on a multiplayer collision approaching center court as the third quarter was beginning to wind down.

Tousana, the Batavia senior guard, only missed a handful of possessions before running back into the action.


The electric point guard wasn't about to miss a chance to continue competing.

"I just wanted to be out there," Tousana said following Leo's 51-36 over Batavia in the second round of the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic at York on Tuesday. "I like physical games, so I'm used to getting hit hard. That's mostly it."

Leo (6-1) advanced to the quarterfinals to face Glenbard West on Wednesday.

The teams went into the break tied 21-21, but Leo outscored Batavia 30-15 over the final two quarters.

Tousana had 10 points, but Batavia's scoring punch came from Ethan Ivan's 24 points and six rebounds. While a quiet two-point finish for Austin Ambrose, the big man finished with 16 rebounds.

"I saw the same [usual output from] Ethan," Tousana said. "He was struggling shooting at first, but he picked it up. He really helped us score. It's always easy to kick it to him."

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It ultimately wasn't enough to curtail Leo, who established the physical presence coach Jamal Thompson sets as "their main goal" on a game in, game out basis.

"That's how we play defense," Thompson said. "We get up [into] guys and we force guys to do things they don't want to do [offensively]. So, that's what we did in the second [half]. Our basic challenge [to] our guys at halftime was in the first three minutes: 'Take their pride away.'"

Leo's offensive punch came largely off the right hand of senior Cameron Cleveland, who helped the Lions with 11 points. Jarrod Gee Jr. came alive in the fourth quarter to score nine of his team-high 13 points.

The physicality ultimately caught up with the Bulldogs (9-3) as they finished with 19 turnovers.

"We stopped them the first half. We went through some offensive woes but we were able to keep the game [even] at the half," Batavia coach Jim Nazos said. "We had too many turnovers and we started giving up things. And, it crept away from us. It's a team loss. ... We've got to learn from it. We've got to come back better because obviously we're not going to play any [easier] teams the rest of the way out. We've got to learn. We've got to move on."

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