For the Patriots they nailed three pointer after three pointer and jumped out early on the Tigers who are ranked #1 in AA. Using a good motion offense and picking their spots the Patriots found the range early and often against the Tigers. Super junior Quinton Thomas did what he could to keep the Tigers within reach but the Tiger defense couldn't find the open Patriots as they answered each Tiger run with another three pointer each time it seemed.
Mann freshman Damien Leonard poured in a game high 23 points for the Patriots. At 6'4 Leonard plays small forward and the 2011 prospect delivered big time for the Patriots. Leonard will be a force by the time he's a senior if he keeps on his current pace.
Thomas sparked the home crowd with a steal and breakaway dunk in which he was fouled but the Patriots continued to run time off the clock and knock down the open shot. Marlin Butler, a two-sport standout, also keyed a Tiger comeback but the Patriots stranglehold on the lead proved to be too much in the end.
- Southside PG/SF Quinton Thomas is much more assertive compared to last season. With Dreher out the Tigers will need more offense and leadership from the 2009 standout.
- J.L. Mann has the makings of a team that could make some serious noise in AAA. They have plenty of shooters and some decent size inside. Definitely a team to keep a close eye on as they recently defeated a pretty strong Daniel High squad last week too.
- Mann freshman Damien Leonard was very impressive. The 2011 prospect is thin but he has tremendous upside as time is on his side to grow and mature.
- Southside seemed out of synch against Mann's zone defense early and really missed Robbie Dreher's offensive firepower as they fell behind early. We'll see if they can find a way to bounce back in a big way and find their offense as they'll run without Dreher for a few weeks.
2011 SF Damien Leonard