Boys Basketball: Loyola edges out Fenwick in thriller
Updated: December 9, 2011 10:40PM
Loyola coach Tom Livatino knew his team needed to be prepared for a tough slug-it-out type game as the Ramblers hosted Fenwick, Friday night in Wilmette.
Loyola withstood the Friars’ best shot and pulled off a thrilling 54-50 Chicago Catholic League North victory.
“That’s a good old fashioned basketball game,” Livatino said. “We knew that our biggest obstacle tonight would be matching their physical play and I thought our guys did a pretty good job.”
Loyola (4-3, 2-0) won the game thanks to a solid fourth quarter from football players Peter Pujals and Richie Wehman. The two juniors have had just eight practices after playing in the Class 8A state title game on Nov. 26 but they combined to score the team’s final 14 points Friday night.
Trailing 50-49, Pujals gave the Ramblers the lead for good by converting a pair of free throws with 46.8 seconds to play. After a pair of missed free throws by Fenwick’s Samuel Ainsworth, Wehman split a pair of free throws with 24.7 seconds to extend the lead to 52-50.
With the Friars (2-3, 0-2) setting up for the last shot, Wehman stole the ball at midcourt and raced to the hoop laying it in with 9.6 seconds remaining to seal the victory.
“I just tried to be aggressive, get in the passing lane and get a steal,” Wehman said. “I thought he was going to intentional foul me so I was just bracing for the contact and I went up strong. It was a just a matter of gutting out this win. It was a big win for us.”
Pujals led Loyola with a game-high 19 points while Wehman had 16. Joshua Carlisle had 11 points in defeat for Fenwick. The Ramblers shot 16-for-40 from the floor while Fenwick was 19-for-35. The Friars were just 9-for-19 from the free-throw line
“It was juts turnovers at the end,” Carlisle said. “We looked down court to push it but we really needed to just pull it out and set something up.