Boys Basketball: Gridiron duo leads Loyola past Gordon on hardwood
Updated: December 2, 2011 11:01PM
Less than a week after losing in the IHSA State Football Class 8A Title Game, Loyola juniors Peter Pujals and Richie Wehman returned to the basketball court Friday, helping the Ramblers to a victory.
Pujals and Wehman showed few signs of rust as they combined for 39 points in the Ramblers’ 69-61 win over Gordon Tech in the Catholic North opener for both teams.
Pujals, who until this week had not shot a basketball since the summer, scored 17 of his team-high 23 in the first half, while Wehman scored 16, 10 of which came in the second half.
“Peter and Richie are very special kids. They have IT, they have that quality.
You saw it a little bit tonight,” said Loyola head coach Tom Livatino about the pair, who both played wide receiver on the football team that finished 13-1, only losing 21-17 to Bolingbrook last Saturday in Champaign. “We have a long way to go, but those guys are special athletes. They’re special people. They are high character guys and leaders of our team. It was good to have them back.”
Loyola (3-2, 1-0) was up 33-31 at halftime before outscoring the Rams (2-3, 0-1) 16-8 in the third quarter. Wehman had eight points during that run.
The Ramblers led by 10 after three and stretched the lead to 15 during the fourth quarter, before the visitors made a small run in the final two minutes.
Gordon Tech led by as many as five points in the first half, and by two with a minute remaining before halftime. But two Pujals three pointers in the final minute of the half put the Ramblers back in front, and seemed to set the tone for Loyola’s second-half spurt.
“I thought we played well for stretches in the first half, we just didn’t close like I wanted to,” Gordon head coach Shay Boyle said. “We gave up a few in the last minute (of the second quarter). Instead of being up six, we were down two and we were in scramble- mode the rest of the game.”
Junior guard Jerry Davis led the Rams with 24 points, but he didn’t really get on track until the fourth, when he had 15. Davis added a team-high seven rebounds.
Senior sharpshooter David Andrews had 17 points for Gordon, 12 coming on four first-quarter three pointers.
Loyola sophomore point guard James Clarke finished with 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Clarke also played solid defense on Gordon Tech leading scorer Mahlike Graham.
Loyola returns to action at 7 p.m. Saturday when it visits Benet in the inaugural Catholic League/ESCC Challenge. The game is preceded by a match-up between Notre Dame and Mt. Carmel.
Gordon Tech hosts St. Ignatius at 7:30 p.m. next Friday.