Next man up: Junior guard Adie Morrill played one of her best games of the season Feb. 2 in Loyola’s 56-48 loss to Montini in Lombard in the GCAC Red semifinals. She finished with a team-best 11 points, but one of Morrill’s highlights didn’t involve her scoring a basket. Late in the second quarter, she dribbled into the lane and passed to junior forward Lilly Wehman for a layup that secured Loyola’s lead going into the half. Morrill got the opportunity to start against the Chicago Tribune’s No. 1-ranked team after sophomore guard Julia Martinez injured her right ankle during the team’s quarterfinal game against Fenwick. “It was great to see her play like that,” Loyola head coach Jeremy Schoenecker said of Morrill. “She was in situations she’s never been in before, and she played great.” Even though Martinez likely is to return for Loyola’s first state playoff game Feb. 14, Schoenecker said it’s good to know Morrill “felt comfortable on the big stage.”
Tournament time: The Ramblers (18-10) received the No. 4 seed at the Class 4A Niles West Sectional and were assigned to the regional at Trinity. Loyola plays the winner of No. 14 Leyden/No. 20 Lincoln Park in the semifinals on Feb. 14. If the seeds hold, the Ramblers will square off against the host and No. 6 Blazers for a second time this season Feb. 16. In the first meeting, Loyola lost to Trinity 42-30 on Dec. 13 in River Forest. “You just don’t know how the seeds will fall given the [regional] hosts,” Schoenecker said of the draw. “We thought we would have either Trinity or New Trier in our regional. We are ready to play any team because of schedule we have played. For us, it’s about taking care of the basketball and having quality possessions.” The Ramblers complete the regular season Saturday against Kalamazoo Central (Michigan).
Award season: Senior guard Ramar Evans earned an exclusive spot on the all-Catholic League team, an honor reserved for the six best players among the 18 teams. Going into Tuesday’s game against St. Rita, he led the Ramblers (16-7) in points (13.9), rebounds (5.8), assists (4.0) and steals (1.6). Evans wasn’t the only Rambler to be recognized. Senior forward Julian DeGuzman and junior guard Kevin Cunningham both were selected to the all-Catholic North team. Lawless Award winners for the Catholic North were Fenwick senior Jamal Nixon and DePaul Prep head coach Tom Kleinschmidt.
Catholic League playoffs: By tying for second in the Catholic North with DePaul Prep at 7-2, the Loyola boys received one of the two No. 3 seeds for the conference tournament. The Ramblers open with No. 13 Providence Catholic at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Montini. Fenwick and Brother Rice each earned No. 1 seeds.