Award worthy: For the second season in a row, senior Lilly Wehman and junior Julia Martinez earned all-state honors from the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association.
Martinez was named to the IBCA’s Class 3A/4A first team. Ashley Thomas (Class of 2008) was the last Loyola player to receive first-team all-state recognition. Wehman was selected to the third team. Both Martinez and Wehman were honorable mention picks last season.
A point guard, Martinez averaged 9.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 2.7 steals for the Class 4A regional champion Ramblers (25-6). The Georgetown-bound Wehman, a forward, averaged 7.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 blocks.
Wehman will graduate as the program’s all-time leader in career blocks and blocks in a single season. Meanwhile, Martinez is No. 1 in career assists and assists in one season.
Junior guard Celia Satter was selected honorable mention by the IBCA. She led the Ramblers in scoring at 11.5 points per game.
Rambling on: The Loyola boys basketball team advanced to the sectional round of the Class 4A state tournament for the second consecutive season after beating Maine South 48-29 on Friday in the regional final in Park Ridge.
The No. 4-seeded Ramblers (24-6) play No. 1 Evanston (23-5) on Tuesday in the sectional semifinals at Maine East. The Wildkits beat Loyola 43-40 in Evanston on Feb. 6 during the regular season.
The top priority for the Ramblers is taking care of the basketball, according to Loyola head coach Tom Livatino. The Ramblers turned over the ball 19 times in the first meeting.
“We have to handle their pressure,” he said. “They get a ton of their points in transition off turnovers. We pride ourselves on our defense, but we can’t guard if we turn it over.”
Evanston ended Loyola’s season a year ago with a 71-45 win in the Class 4A sectional semifinals at Waukegan.
No. 2 New Trier plays No. 3 Niles North on Wednesday in the other sectional semifinal.
Mighty Quinn: In the biggest game of the season, junior guard Quinn Pemberton (pictured above) played his best game, Livatino said.
Earning the most minutes he has all season, Pemberton finished with four points and three assists in the win over Maine South. He was 1-for-1 from the field and 2-for-2 on free throws.
“He was a key guy for us [Friday],” Livatino said. “He really came on in January and even more in February. He’s a strong kid who can play defense and get downhill on offense.”
No charity: Making free throws has been a challenge for the Ramblers.
Loyola finished 11-for-20 from the line Friday and are shooting 60.2 percent for the season. To their credit, the Ramblers went 9-for-10 in the final 2 minutes, 7 seconds to put the game away.
“We know it’s something we need to improve on,” Livatino said.
But free throws won’t be a major point of emphasis in the practices leading up to Tuesday’s game, according to Livatino.
“I don’t know how much we will work on it because I think it’s mostly a mental hurdle we have to overcome,” he said.
Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola