Cody Leonard did not expect to eclipse 1,000 points in his career at the start of the season. He proved himself wrong as he did it Friday night and led the Carrollton Hawks to a 78-60 victory over the Calhoun Warriors in front of the Carrollton faithful.
“It means a lot. At the beginning of the season I didn’t even expect to get it so to get it after my third year of starting here it’s a great accomplishment for me,” Leonard said.
He needed to get 25 points going into the game and finished with 29 to lead all scorers. Luke Palan chipped in with 17 and Luke Gillingham added 15 with three treys.
“Everything just kind of fell my way tonight,” Leonard said.
It was a night of celebration for Carrollton on Friday night. The 1994-1995 boys basketball team was honored before the game, Sammy Coonrod’s number 33 was retired, and Carrollton got an important WIVC victory over Calhoun.
“I felt like it was a great game. Calhoun is a great team. We want a chance to win the WIVC,” Leonard said. “We came out, played hard, and ended up getting the win.”
Leonard getting his 1,000th point wasn’t exactly on the agenda.
“I knew there was a chance he could get 25, but I didn’t expect it,” Carrollton head coach Jeff Krumwiede said. “His jersey was completely soaked through and when his jersey looks like that we are in business.”
Carrollton was in business early on as they jumped out to a 15-5 lead and led 21-14 after the first quarter. But the Hawks wings were clipped when Leonard and Luke Palan picked up two fouls each within the first three minutes of the second quarter. Carrollton had a 29-19 lead, but watched it evaporate as Calhoun came back with a 15-3 run. They converted on layups and knocked down 13 of their 18 free throw attempts in the quarter alone. Leonard got a sliver of momentum for the Hawks going into halftime by getting a put back layup at the buzzer to give the Hawks a 33-31 lead.
In the third quarter the Hawks would find their stride.
“It was tough watching our lead evaporate, but I kept crossing my fingers that the third quarter back at full strength would be better off,” Krumwiede said.
Carrollton outscored Calhoun 28-16 in the third frame. Leonard started to take over during that period when he scored 11 points and made 5 out of 6 free throw attempts. Levi Hinderhan capped the quarter by banking in a mid-range shot at the buzzer.
The Hawks led the Warriors 61-47 going into the fourth quarter, but the lead would get bigger and so did the anticipation for Leonard to score his 25th point. With 5:06 left in the game the moment arrived for Leonard. He made his first of two foul shots and the game was halted to commemorate the achievement. Moments later he put an exclamation point on the night with a thunderous dunk that brought the Carrollton crowd to their feet one more time. The dunk capped a 12-1 run by the Hawks that also put an exclamation point on the game itself.
“Palan got to the rim, Gillingham carried us early, and it was a total team effort and that’s why we are as good as we are,” Krumwiede said.
Leonard now joins fellow senior Luke Palan in the Carrollton 1,000 point club as he notched his against North Mac on December 12th.
“It’s great to see two 1,000 point scorers on the same team and in the same class. That’s a pretty neat thing,” Krumwiede said.
Carrollton improved to 22-4 and 7-1 in the WIVC. They will travel to Mount Sterling to take on Brown County at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Calhoun drops to 16-8 and 7-2 in WIVC play. The Warriors will host Pittsfield on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
SOUTHWESTERN 61, VANDALIA 47
Southwestern defeated Vandalia on Friday night 61-47.
Tyler Rose led Southwestern with 20 points; Collin Baumgartner had 12 points.
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