Loyola head coach Tom Livatino called a timeout at the 5:00 mark of the fourth quarter to reset the Ramblers.
They were leading by six, but he didn’t like what he saw on offense. Livatino told the players to move the ball until they got an uncontested shot.
After possessing the ball for more than two minutes, senior guard Ramar Evans found an opening around the left side of the lane and made a layup. On their next possession, senior guard Jack Martinus slipped through traffic for another layup.
Loyola then went 7-for-8 from the free throw line in the final 57.7 seconds to close out St. Ignatius for a 47-36 win in the Jesuit Cup at home Friday. It snapped the Wolfpack’s two-year hold on the coveted trophy.
“We were forcing too much on offense, and [Livatino] wanted us to work for a good shot,” said Martinus, who had two points and two steals. “We executed. That possession was Loyola basketball. It was awesome.”
Livatino added: “We didn’t want to take any more stupid shots. We weren’t trying to hold the ball or anything like that. We just wanted to run a good offense and take a shot that was not contested. I think we could have been more aggressive, but it was a great possession.”
Ahead 27-25 at the half, Loyola (14-5, 6-1 Catholic North) held St. Ignatius (9-12, 4-3) to five field goals and 11 points in the final two quarters. St. Ignatius sophomore guard Christian Davis, who had eight points at the break, scored his only two points of the second half on a basket with 33 seconds to go in the game.
Evans finished with a team-best 15 points and was 9-for-10 on free throws. He’s four points away from 900 for his career. Evans also had two rebounds, two steals and one assist.
Junior guard Kevin Cunningham followed with 12 points and two steals. Senior guard Matt Lynch had seven points, two rebounds and two steals. He was 3-for-4 on free throws in the closing minute of the game. Senior forward Julian DeGuzman had eight rebounds, three assists and one steal, while senior forward Matt Sechman scored five points to go with three rebounds. Senior forward Kris Lampley contributed two points, six rebounds and one steal.
The Ramblers were 16-for-20 from the free throw line.
“This is an indescribable feeling,” Martinus said of winning the Jesuit Cup. “It’s awesome to celebrate this with my team.”
Fenwick remained in first place in the conference at 7-0 after it beat St. Joseph 66-51 on Friday. The Friars visit the Ramblers on Tuesday. DePaul Prep kept pace with Loyola by beating De La Salle 53-42 on Friday.
Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola