There was a stretch early in the second quarter of Thursday’s 66-36 win over Taft when Loyola had assists on five consecutive baskets.
It started with junior forward Lilly Wehman’s pass from the top of the key to senior forward Clare Nelson in the post and illustrated how the Ramblers continue to take steps in the right direction with their offense.
In its final home game of 2016, Loyola (8-3) led from start to finish and surpassed its season-best point total by 10. Its previous high was in the 56-43 win over Harlan in the season opener.
“We had good ball movement, especially in the second quarter, and it allowed us to take quality shots,” Loyola head coach Jeremy Schoenecker said. “You are not going to make every shot, but your chances increase when you’re taking good ones.”
Loyola’s 20-point second quarter opened up a 32-17 lead at the half. The Ramblers increased their advantage throughout the third quarter, going ahead by as many as 24 on junior guard Julia Martinez’s two free throws at the 1:25 mark.
Taft made a run early in the fourth, getting as close as 16, but the Ramblers used an 11-0 run to put the Eagles away.
“We’ve gotten better on offense,” Schoenecker said. “We are figuring out our roles, where to look for points.”
Martinez scored 10 of her team-high 12 points in the second half. Senior guard Madison Kane added 11 points, and junior guard Erin Dillon contributed 10 points. Nelson pitched in nine points.
A total of 12 Ramblers scored in the game, including senior forward Leigh Kindler, junior guard Louisa Edwards, freshman guard Kate Kurkowski and freshman forward Addison Ebeling.
Once again, the 6-foot-2 Wehman showed why she’s so valuable to the Ramblers. She scored six points, including her first 3-pointer of the season, but she controlled the paint on the defensive end.
Loyola plays on the road Friday against Niles West. Tipoff is at 4 p.m. The Ramblers then travel to Mesa, Arizona, for their holiday tournament, which runs Dec. 27-30.