Three or bust: Loyola senior guard Jimmy Alexopoulos has played 16 games and attempted 39 field goals. Not one of his shots has been inside of 19 feet, 9 inches, the distance of the 3-point arc. “I get into the game, I get off a 3-pointer,” said Alexopoulos, who stands 5-foot-9. “I don’t go into the paint. Those guys are trees. I have no business being in there.” Alexopoulos shoots 3-pointers better than some players shoot free throws. He’s 19-for-39 on the season for a 48.7 percentage. His best performance was in Ramblers’ win that earned them the tournament title in Naples, Florida. He went 5-for-6 on 3s and scored a career-high 15 points. “I knew from a young age I was going to have to be a good shooter,” he said. “I come from a short Greek family. I knew I wasn’t going to be tall. I really worked at it. During the summers, I shoot 10,000 3-pointers. I expect to shoot 50 percent from there.” Alexopoulos said he’s constantly working to improve on his trade, whether it’s increasing his range or perfecting his arc. “I expect a lot out of myself,” he said. Defense is another area Alexopoulos said is a primary focus for him. “I’m not quite there yet, but I do have the passion for it,” he said. “My footwork needs to be better.”
Rising star: Point guard Julia Martinez isn’t the only sophomore on the Ramblers who is making a contribution to the varsity. The 6-foot Celia Satter has earned significant playing time in her rookie season on varsity as someone who comes off the bench and can play both the guard and forward positions. “She’s built more like a guard, but we get her on the floor to spell our post players,” Loyola head coach Jeremy Schoenecker said. Through 19 games, Satter is averaging 3.1 points and is one of the team’s best free throw shooters. Like several 6-foot Loyola players before her, Satter has range out to the 3-point line. One of the those former players is Satter’s older sister, Liz, a 2016 graduate and freshman basketball player at University of Pennsylvania. “Both of them shoot the ball very well,” Schoenecker said. “Her best spot is on the perimeter, but our need this season is to have her more in the post. We sat down with her recently and talked about her future, which we believe is at one of the guard positions. We really think the future is bright with her.”
Taking charge: It’s no secret Livatino loves when his players take a charge. In Friday’s Catholic North game against St. Joseph, it was instrumental in the victory. Livatino said the charge is a direct result of the Ramblers playing team defense. “It’s about helping each other out,” he said. “We have to be a good team defense to be successful.” Two of the biggest plays Friday were the charges taken by senior forward Julian DeGuzman. One was in the fourth quarter and the other was in overtime. Both of them led to points for the Ramblers and the 60-59 win. Junior guard Kevin Cunningham leads Loyola with 12 charges. He’s followed by senior guard Matt Lynch (10), senior guard Ramar Evans (8), DeGuzman (6) and senior guard Tony Reyes (5).
Conference updates: The Loyola girls wrap up the GCAC Red regular season Thursday on the road against Mother McAuley. It’s a big game in terms of seeding for the conference tournament, which starts Jan. 28. Both the Ramblers (15-6) and Mighty Macs are tied with Trinity and Fenwick for second place at 2-2. Montini leads the league at 4-0, and St. Ignatius is sixth at 0-4. On the boys side, the Ramblers (11-5) kept themselves near the top of the Catholic North standings with Friday’s win over St. Joseph. They are tied for second with DePaul Prep at 4-1, one game behind 5-0 Fenwick. Loyola plays the Friars at home Jan. 31. De La Salle, St. Joseph and St. Ignatius all are tied for fourth at 3-2. In the Catholic South, Brother Rice is in first at 4-0.
Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola