Playoff picture: Now that the holidays are over and it’s the new year, basketball teams are beginning to look toward the postseason.
The Loyola girls team’s first game in 2018 has playoff implications. The Ramblers (14-2) host Evanston (11-6) on Saturday, and both teams are at the Class 4A Maine East Sectional. To date, Loyola is 3-1 against sectional opponents, with its lone loss a 65-59 defeat to New Trier on Nov. 16. The Ramblers play Maine South on Jan. 23 in Park Ridge.
“They are physical and play an in-your-face, high-octane style,” Loyola head coach Jeremy Schoenecker said of Evanston. “We have to be ready for the kind of pressure they will bring.”
The deadline for submitting sectional seeds is Feb. 1.
The Loyola boys team opens the new year Friday on the road against Mount Carmel in the Catholic Blue. The Ramblers (11-2) play Lakes at home Saturday and on the road Monday against St Viator as part of a Martin Luther King tournament. St. Viator is at the Class 4A Maine East Sectional with the Ramblers.
The Lions (8-4) have enjoyed a strong start to the season, which includes a championship at their own Thanksgiving tournament.
So far, Loyola is 2-1 against sectional opponents, a 46-41 loss to New Trier on Nov. 22 the one defeat. Loyola’s remaining sectional opponents include Mather on Jan. 13 and Evanston on Feb. 6. The deadline for sectional seeds is Feb. 15.
Usual suspects: The Loyola girls team got consistent production from its starters in going 3-1 last week in Naples, Florida, which was highlighted by a third-place finish at the Naples Holiday Shootout.
“I was really happy with how we played,” Schoenecker said. “We faced some good competition and won some games. We were better on the glass, which has been a sticking point for us this year.
Junior guard Julia Martinez was Loyola’s lone selection to the all-tournament team. But Schoenecker said senior forward Lilly Wehman, senior guard Erin Dillon, senior guard Adie Morrill and junior forward Celia Satter all delivered down south.
“Adie did some nice things on defense, and Erin knocked down some big shots,” he said. “Celia and Lilly scored for us, and Julia did what she usually does.”
Sophomore forward Addison Ebeling (pictured above) scored a career-high 17 points in Loyola’s 42-38 win over Council Rock North, of Newtown, Pennsylvania, in the third-place game.
Future is now: When Schoenecker called up freshman forward Izzy Ogliore last month, he did so with the intention of giving her substantial minutes.
Ogliore dressed for Loyola’s Dec. 12 game against Argo and got onto the court Dec. 21 against Taft. On the Ramblers’ Florida trip, she played in all four games.
“She was impactful,” Schoenecker said. “She gave us a boost off the bench, especially on defense. She brings a toughness to the team. She works her tail off, and the girls love her. She’s really done a nice job.”
Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola