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O’Brien: Soph Javon Freeman guides Seton past Leo

The Archdiocese of Chicago announced earlier this month that Seton will close after this school year. The news stopped Sting coach Justin Domingo’s rebuilding project in its tracks. It’s this season or nothing for Seton, which has the talent to make a deep run in the Class 2A State Tournament in March.

“Truthfully It’s heartbreaking for this to happen in the middle of our turnaround,” Seton coach Justin Domingo said. “We were 9-22 my first year, 10-21 last year and now here we are15-4. All our hard work is being taken away from the guys.”

“Since the news of the closing the guys are taking things more seriously and are working towards winning state. That was the goal before but now it’s even more of a goal.”

The Sting knocked off Leo 63-52 on Friday in South Holland behind a big performance from star sophomore Javon Freeman, who scored 24 points.

“We locked down on defense and got steals and stops in the second half and just pulled away,” Freeman said.

Junior RaShaad Williams added 17 points and senior Albert Haskins junior added nine points for Seton (15-4, 5-1 Catholic League South).

“We have four guys out there that can handle the ball and it makes us hard to defend. That’s what makes us special,” Domingo said.

Freeman is 6-4, thing and fast, he handles the ball very well and looks like one of the top sophomores in the area. He admitted that a number of schools have contacted him about next season, but said he hasn’t made a decision on his future yet.

“It hurts that the school is closing, but things happen for a reason,” Freeman said.

Senior point guard Darius Branch ran the show fore Leo (15-4, 4-2). He scored 18 points.

“(Branch) a great player,” Domingo said. “He’s always worked hard and you saw it out here tonight. He’s a good kid and the future is going to be bright for him.”

Darias Oliver, a 6-6 senior added nine points and eight rebounds and Chris Winters scored 12 for the Lions. Leo is in Class 1A this season. Branch’s ability along with a great deal of size should make the Lions contenders for a state title as well.

A scuffle broke out in the postgame handshake line and spilled into the hallway outside the gym. Things calmed down momentarily before another incident took place near the exit. Fans were trapped inside the school briefly while police sorted the matter out.

“I really don’t know what happened,” Domingo said. “I’ll just say some unsportsmanlike stuff.”