SOUTH HOLLAND | For a guard, Seton Academy's Mark Weems plays a pretty convincing big man.
Weems had two huge offensive rebounds and put back baskets down the stretch to help the Sting hold off Leo and improve Seton Academy's record to 7-0 in Chicago Catholic League play. Teammate Kamal Shasi scored 16 for the Sting while Jordan Foster added 12 points and recorded three steals.
"I challenged him yesterday," Seton coach Brandon Thomas said of Weems. "I said you're too good of a rebounding guard not to have had a double-double this season. I can tell that was on his mind because he rebounded today."
Seton jumped all over Leo early thanks in large part to the 3-pointer. The Sting had four first quarter 3-pointers, two by Shasi, and Seton was able to jump out to a 25-16 lead. The Sting (18-4, 7-0) seemed to be cruising to a victory before Leo was able to make the game interesting in the second half and down the stretch.
"I think we got up by maybe 20 or so early in the third quarter," Thomas said. "We just thought it was over and it wasn't."
J.R. Tolliver had a strong game inside for Seton, scoring nine and bringing down five rebounds before fouling out in the final minutes. Tolliver had his hands full with Leo's Russell Woods who scored 19 to lead the Lions. Woods had missed the earlier meeting in the season when Seton faced Leo, and the Sting were out to speed up the play to marginalize Woods talent down low.
"He's a difference maker for them," Thomas said of Woods. "We knew we wouldn't completely shut him down but we just wanted to limit his touches a little bit. More importantly we wanted to have the game going so fast so when he did touch it, he'd have the game sped up."
The Sting were able to get a solid night from the bench, and while the numbers may have not reflected it, the depth of the Sting was a big factor in the final score.
"We went real deep today," Thomas said. "We got a lot of production out of our bench. When you play hard like that you feel like you can plug anyone in at any moment and there's no drop off in intensity."