Since starting the Catholic Blue schedule with a loss to St. Rita, the Ramblers have run off five wins in a row and sit in second place behind Fenwick with two league games remaining.
The latest was Friday’s 63-47 victory over De La Salle at home. Loyola outscored the Meteors 23-10 in the fourth quarter.
“That was a really good win,” Loyola head coach Tom Livatino said. “We had a tremendous amount of respect for that team.”
Although leading 27-23 at the half, Loyola didn’t play well in the first two quarters, according to Livatino.
“It wasn’t great,” he said. “We were giving up shots they wanted to take. But we got back to doing the intangible things well, got back to guarding.”
Livatino said senior guard John Lynch, senior forward Pete Mangan and senior forward Patrick Russell were the difference-makers in the second half.
“They really helped us turn the game around,” Livatino said. “They gave us the spark we needed.”
Mangan finished with 12 points, five rebounds, five assists and one block. Sophomore forward Bennett Kwiecinski scored a team-best 13 points to go with four rebounds. Senior guard Kevin Cunningham went 3-for-3 on 3-pointers to score 11 points and added four assists. Junior guard Connor Barrett had 11 points and two steals. Junior guard Quinn Pemberton contributed seven points and three assists.
Loyola finished 18-for-31 from the field, including 6-for-10 from 3-point range. The Ramblers turned over the ball only seven times.
“I thought we were efficient on offense all night long,” Livatino said.
The Ramblers (18-3, 5-1) close out the conference season Feb. 9 at St. Joseph and Feb. 16 at home against Fenwick. The Friars improved to 6-0 in the league after Friday’s 61-51 win over DePaul Prep 61-51 in Chicago.
“We’re in a good position because we control our situation,” Livatino said.