Not much makes Loyola boys basketball head coach Tom Livatino happier than when one of his players takes a charge.
In Monday’s 63-42 season-opening win over Mather at the New Trier/Loyola Thanksgiving Tournament in Wilmette, three Ramblers finished with multiple charges. Senior forward Teddy Falkenhayn, senior guard Matt Lynch and senior guard Tony Reyes all had two charges apiece.
But it was 6-foot-1 Lynch who did it all. In addition to his defensive performance, the point guard scored a team-best 16 points. Livatino called it the best game in Lynch’s career.
“He played really, but we expect that from him now,” Livatino said.
Lynch said his defense helped his offense, something Livatino always preaches to his players.
The best example of that happened midway through the third quarter when Lynch corralled an offensive rebound, drove the length of the floor, made a layup and got fouled. He completed the 3-point play to give Loyola a 46-23 lead with 4 minutes, 48 seconds to go before the fourth.
“He wants me to guard and create ball movement on the other end,” Lynch said. “I thought I moved the ball pretty well. I was really focused out there. I took what they gave me.”
Senior guard Ramar Evans also starred in the first game of the season. The three-year starter scored 15 points and had six rebounds. His basket at the buzzer gave Loyola a 33-19 lead going into the locker room. He then started the third quarter with a steal and layup, and the Ramblers ran away from the Rangers.
“Ramar was solid, as usual,” Livatino said.
In his first varsity season, Cunningham finished with eight points. Senior forward Julian DeGuzman added six points. In all, 10 Ramblers scored.
Loyola plays Lincoln Park at 5 p.m. Tuesday in Wilmette.