Leal completes near-perfect season by leading all-state team
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Anthony Leal nearly produced the perfect finish.
The Bloomington South senior led his team to a 26-0 record, the only unbeaten team in Indiana. He broke the school’s career scoring record and helped the Panthers win their sixth straight sectional title. He announced he’d play for his hometown Hoosiers. And Leal seemingly was primed for a Class 4A title run — until the tournament was canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Thursday, Leal received another honor — most votes on The Associated Press’ boys all-state team, beating out Caleb Furst. The junior from Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian finished second in balloting by a panel of sportswriters, broadcasters and coaches around the state. Players are selected regardless of which class their schools compete in.
The 6-foot-5 Leal was the top choice after averaging 18.2 points and 4.3 rebounds this season. He’s one of five finalists for this year’s IndyStar Indiana Mr. Basketball Award and will become the first scholarship player from Bloomington to play at Indiana since Jordan Hulls, the 2009 Mr. Basketball Award winner.
Furst averaged 22.1 points and 13.4 rebounds, leading Blackhawk Christian to a 23-3 mark and a Class 2A sectional title. He also won the 2019 Class A state crown. The 6-10 junior has already verbally committed to Purdue.
Dre Davis, who is headed to Louisville, was third. The 6-5 Lawrence Central senior scored 21.5 points and grabbed 8.7 rebounds.
Lawrence North senior Tony Perkins and Silver Creek junior Trey Kaufman round out the first team.
Perkins averaged 18.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists and helped the Wildcats win their first sectional title since 2015. He’s headed to Iowa next season.
Kaufman scored 25.8 points, had 9.6 rebounds and won a sectional title, capturing the state’s Gatorade player of the year award.
Trey Galloway of Culver Academy, another Indiana recruit, led the second team after breaking the school’s career records for scoring and assists. Galloway, an AAU teammate of Leal, led the Eagles to the 2019 Class 3A state title. Galloway averaged 20.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2.3 steals.
Nijel Pack of Lawrence Central, Khristian Lander of Evansville Reitz, Johnell Davis of Gary 21st Century and Sincere McMahon of Indianapolis Crispus Attucks closed out the second team.
Davis finished second in the state in scoring at 31.4 points per game and will attend Florida Atlantic.
Dre Davis, Johnell Davis, Galloway and Perkins are the other Mr. Basketball finalists. The award is scheduled to be announced Friday.
Pack will play at Kansas State and Lander, a junior, has verbally committed to Indiana. McMahon recently reopened his recruiting following a coaching change at Western Illinois.
Kiyron Powell of Evansville Bosse, Luke Brown of Blackford, Charlie Yoder of Westview, J.R. Konieczny of South Bend St. Joseph and Keon Thompson of Merrillville make up the third team.
Brown led the state in scoring (32.3 points) while Thompson was third (30.5).
Powell has signed with Houston and Konieczny, a junior, has verbally committed to Notre Dame. Yoder has not announced what school he will attend. Brown and Thompson are both juniors.
The seniors on the three teams all have been named Indiana All-Stars.