Video: Spivey, Lions upend Trojans

Video: Spivey, Lions upend Trojans

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Video: Spivey, Lions upend Trojans

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One of Leon High’s main priorities heading into the final two weeks of the regular season in boys’ basketball is team defense.

The Lions are athletic, can create in space, and are unselfish in their up-tempo offense. But they realize their success starts on defense, and Tuesday was proof.

Leon held rival Lincoln to one basket in the opening quarter and coasted to a 63-45 road victory in non-district play.

“We were able to apply pressure with our full-court press, which created some easy turnovers that we created into easy baskets,” Leon coach Ricky Davis said.

“We played team basketball, and we controlled the tempo. If we continue to get better and play that team basketball we talked about, we have a chance to compete in the playoffs.”

Guard Gerald Spivey led the Class 6A Lions (15-5) with 13 points, while the powerful inside tandem of Cedric Harper (11 points and six rebounds) and Troy Baxter (five blocks) controlled the boards.

The Lions led by double digits from the end of the opening quarter against the young 7A Trojans (7-12).

Lincoln started all underclassmen and dropped its third consecutive game. Coach Jay Hipps described the process as “growing pains.”

Not even an energetic home crowd could help the home team, which was limited to free throws early and didn’t score its second basket until 4:38 in the second quarter.

Lincoln guard Amarni Muller found his range and was a bright spot offensively with a game-high 17 points. He converted four treys.

With Leon star Cameron Smith lost for the remainder of the year with a torn ACL, Davis has also focused on his player rotation. Eleven Lions scored against the Trojans.

“We have to find at least eight to nine guys we can work with, and we are trying to give everyone playing time,” Davis said. “We are still trying to find that team unity and continue to work together and do the things that we do best.”

Spivey, who drained three long treys and helped direct the Lion’s attack with fellow guards Marvin Biggins and Kendall Collins, says the Lions’ strengths are easy to pinpoint.

But the key to future success starts on defense.

“Our offensive game is going to come to us, but our main thing is we have to work hard on defense,” Spivey said.

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