One of the points Madison Kane stressed after Loyola’s 47-35 loss to Maine South at home Wednesday was the importance of the next two days of practice.
It was the Ramblers’ second loss in a row and third in five games. On Saturday, Loyola plays Bishop McNamara in the first round of the GCAC tournament at home. Tip is scheduled for 2 p.m.
“Our practices have to be high intensity, high energy,” said Kane, a senior guard and captain. “This season is a grind right now, but we have to bring the energy to get ourselves back to playing the basketball we know we can play.”
Loyola (16-8) fell behind 11-0 but battled back to go into the half down 30-16. The Ramblers made a move in the third quarter, getting as close as 30-24, but they went into the final eight minutes down 33-24 to the Hawks (15-10).
Junior forward Lilly Wehman’s 3-pointer at the 5:25 mark of the fourth quarter cut the deficit to seven, 37-30. She scored again with 2:21 to go to leave Loyola chasing eight, 41-33, but the Ramblers ran out of gas.
Wehman finished with a team-best 15 points to go with seven blocks, six of them coming in the first half.
Before the game, Loyola honored its seven seniors: Franny Barnett, Kasidy Caldwell, Mary Dooley, Leigh Kinsler, Clare Nelson, Julia Neumeyer and Kane.
Nelson had nine points and two steals, while Kane added four points and two steals. Sophomore guard Julia Martinez finished with four points and four assists.
Maine South was led by sophomore guard Nicole Scales, who made five 3-pointers to finish with 15 points, and sophomore guard Sophia Albano, who also scored 15.
The loss left Loyola 5-2 against teams at the Class 4A Niles West Sectional.
“The biggest thing was not playing together,” Kane said. “We tried to do too many things individually. We have to share the ball more. We’ve seen how good we can be. We just need to get back to playing like that again.”