Playoffs seeds will be meaningless Friday when Loyola meets New Trier for the Class 4A regional title at Zion-Benton.
While the Ramblers (21-8) are the No. 4 seed at the Waukegan Sectional and the Trevians (15-13) are the 12th seed, Loyola doesn’t expect to have an advantage over New Trier. In fact, New Trier beat Loyola 56-54 in overtime on Nov. 23 in Wilmette in the third game of the season for both teams.
“I’ve had an opportunity to watch them play a lot lately, and they are playing well right now,” Loyola head coach Tom Livatino said. “They are finding their identity.”
After earning a 47-35 win over No. 21 Lakes on Monday in the regional quarterfinals, the Trevians pulled off an upset Wednesday by beating regional host and No. 6 seed Zion-Benton 50-48 on a last-second shot by junior guard Andrew Kirkpatrick. Senior guard Aaron Peltz made five 3-pointers to lead the Trevians with 15 points.
New Trier can present challenges in the post, too, with 6-foot-9 sophomore Ciaran Brayboy and 6-8 sophomore Spencer Boehm.
“They do things with their size and length that is problematic, both offensively and defensively,” Livatino said. “They have a good mix of inside and outside scoring.”
The biggest question for Loyola is the status of senior guard Ramar Evans, who sat out the majority of the second half Tuesday after hurting his back. Livatino said Thursday that Evans (pictured above) has been undergoing treatment, but he will be a game-time decision.
“He’s trying to control what he can control,” Livatino said. “We are ready to go without him, if necessary.”
Loyola has ended New Trier’s season twice since the 2013-2014 season. The Ramblers beat the Trevians in a regional semifinal last year and beat them in a sectional semifinal in 2014.
Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola