A fiery Friday night game that featured crosstown rivals with undefeated league records and two of the top boys basketball players in SLO County didn’t disappoint.
Mission Prep, led by scoring machine Kyle Colvin, entered the game with a dominating record over SLO High, having won nine straight against SLO High dating back to the 2010-11 season.
But the new kid on the block, SLO High sophomore Carson Leedom, didn’t seem to care about history.
Leedom scored a team-high 23 points to lift SLO High to a 66-57 win to break the losing streak and help the Tigers remain atop the PAC 8 standings.
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Leedom Delivers Daggers
SLO High led 29-24 at halftime and was firmly in control most of the second half until Colvin helped bring the Royals back within four with just less than four minutes to play. That’s when Leedom hit the two biggest shots of the night.
The 6-foot-6 Leedom, who SLO High coach Jeff Brandow calls the best shooter on the team, hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Tigers up 10 and set the SLO High student section on fire.
“I looked over to Addasson (Wright), and he knew to pass it,” Leedom said of his second three. “I knew it was in once I shot it. I ran back and said this is our game.”
He was right.
“(Leedom) blocked shots, he got rebounds, he took charges — he did it all,” Brandow said. “It’s impressive, especially for a sophomore.”
“I came out in this game thinking this one is for the seniors who haven’t won in all those years,” Leedom said.
In the end, Mission Prep lacked the team firepower to hang with the rejuvenated Tigers. Colvin scored 28 points, but no other Royals player scored in double figures. The Tigers on the other hand had contributions up and down the roster.
Mac Attack, Compton Clampdown
SLO High senior Mac McConnell came up big in the fourth quarter. He scored 15 of his 19 points in the final frame, many of which came at the free throw line during crunch time.
SLO High senior Will Compton drew the tough assignment of guarding Colvin, who has a handful of 30-point games this season, and held his own while adding seven points.
“(Compton) is the best leader I’ve ever had,” Brandow said. “Colvin missed a lot of shots and give credit to Will.”
The win avenged a heartbreaking overtime loss to Mission Prep last season in which SLO High surrendered a four-point lead in the final nine seconds of regulation.
Corona Burns Old School
Sophomore Emilio Corona, who transferred from Mission Prep last year, had a big game against his old school. His steal and transition 3-pointer late in the third quarter helped keep the Tigers in front. Corona finished with 10 points on three made 3s.
Mission Prep (10-6, 4-1 PAC 8) will try to get back on track against St. Joseph (11-7, 4-1 PAC 8) on Tuesday.
SLO High (16-3, 5-0 PAC 8) has won eight straight and will face two more difficult tests against Arroyo Grande and St. Joseph next week.
“Not to be disrespectful, but we have bigger goals than just beating Mission once,” Brandow said. “We want to win a league championship, and we want to compete for a CIF championship.”
The SLO Town Showdown rematch will be at Mission Prep on Feb. 2.