Wilmette, Sports

Ramblers’ rugged schedule continues at fundraising War on the Shore

A look at Loyola Academy’s results the last two weeks appears to show a slump. Following the host Ramblers’ 49-39 loss to Glenbrook South in the final game of the War on the Shore Saturday, Jan. 29, Loyola counted five losses in its last six games.

All five of the losses — Evanston, St. Ignatius, Leo, DePaul Prep and Glenbrook South —  have come against teams that are either ranked (Chicago Sun-Times) or were ranked earlier in the season, and even though his team recently has stumbled in the win-loss column, Ramblers coach Tom Livatino is encouraged by some of the things he’s seen from his squad.

“A lot of teams are going to have a rough week against the teams we did, but honestly I don’t even look at it that way,” he said. “Right now, unfortunately, we’re probably out of the Catholic League championship race, but we’re getting better.

“I think we’re really close to breaking through and becoming the team that we need to become to be more efficient, both offensively and defensively. Some other players who haven’t gotten to play are stepping up. Oliver Bishop, this was probably his best night as a Rambler.”

The Ramblers’ opponent in the 12th annual shootout, Glenbrook South, was most recently ranked No. 2 in the state after a Jan. 22 win over Simeon. But the Titans were coming off a league loss to No. 7 New Trier — the Titans’ first loss since a three-point defeat to No. 1 Glenbard West on Dec. 5

A dunk from Loyola senior Connor Casper during the War on the Shore matchup with Glenbrook South Saturday, Jan. 29.

Glenbrook South jumped out to a 6-0 advantage, holding the Ramblers (16-9) scoreless for just over four minutes to start the game, and never looked back.

Every time the Ramblers made a run to shrink the Titans’ lead, South would counter. The Titans extended their lead to 33-20 with four minutes remaining in the third quarter, but a 14-5 Loyola run, buoyed by Miles Boland’s 11 points, cut the lead to 39-34 with 4:08 remaining.

That, however, was as close as Loyola would get. Glenbrook South standouts Nick Martinelli and Cooper Noard combined to hit 7-of-8 free throws in the game’s final two minutes to ice the win.

“We didn’t really find ourselves and run our offense the way we needed to,” Loyola’s Miles Boland said.

Alex Engro had 11 points each in the loss, while Noard had 15 and Martinelli 12 for the Titans.

Both Boland and Livatino feel as if the Ramblers are close to where they need to be, but they need to push through this rough stretch.

“We’re hoping to be a team that takes you out of what you do offensively so that we all fit correctly,” Livatino said. “It’s a grind; we’re goi ng to get better. We’re going to break through. We just have to keep doing what we’re doing and completely buy in to what we’re doing.”

“I think we’re really close,” Boland said. “Right now I think it’s a lot of small mistakes that we make, but it’s something we can clean up and pull together before the playoffs.”

The schedule doesn’t get any easier, as the Ramblers face Brother Rice, St. Rita, Mount Carmel and Fenwick in their next four games.

Hoops with a purpose

The War on the Shore is an annual event in which local teams Evanston, Loyola and New Trier take on unique opponents to benefit the Danny Did Foundation, a charity that raises awareness about epilepsy and works to prevent deaths caused by seizures.

Founded in 2010 by Loyola graduate Mike Stanton and his wife, Mariann, the nonprofit began after the Stanton lost their 4-year-old son, Danny, to a seizure in his sleep. Epilepsy impacts more than 3.4 million people in the United States and one on 26 Americans will develop epilepsy.

Danny Did’s three main goals are: advancing public awareness of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy, enhancing SUDEP education and disclosure between medical professionals and families afflicted by seizures, and the mainstreaming of seizure detection and prediction devices that may assist in preventing seizure-related deaths.  

“When I started this 12 years ago, it was to celebrate basketball on the North Shore, specifically Loyola, New Trier and Evanston,” Livatino said. “It quickly pivoted to have a much more important role and that’s to celebrate Danny Did for the great work that they do.

“All six of the communities that came in today got exposed to Danny Did in multiple ways and that means a lot to us. Tom Stanton, the whole Stanton family, means a lot to Loyola Academy. Over the years, a lot of different schools have played in this and one of the goals is to get schools not in our area to come in and play.”

New Trier 60, Rolling Meadows 56

The shootout’s first matchup featured a game between two of the states’s best in New Trier and No. 12 Rolling Meadows.

And it lived up to the billing.

An early back-and-forth game looked as if it would get out of reach for the Trevians, who were coming off of a big win over Glenbrook South Thursday, Jan. 27, in Glenview; however, senior forward Jackson Munro refused to allow that to happen.

Every time his team needed a bucket or a big defensive play, the Dartmouth commit came through, and he also showed off his play-making abilities, dishing out numerous assists to teammates, like Noah Shannon or Karlo Colak, who regularly found open lanes to the basket.

The Trevians battled back from a couple seven-point deficits in the third quarter to eventually take the lead at the end of the period thanks to a Shannon bucket that beat the clock. A Shannon free throw with 5:39 remaining gave the Trevians (22-2) the lead for good.

The win marks an impressive stretch of wins for New Trier, which has won eight straight and in the past seven days has defeated Yorkville Christian, Glenbrook South and Rolling Meadows, all three ranked squads.

Munro had 23 points and is averaging 24 point per game in the last four wins for the Trevians, and Shannon finished with 12 points, 11 in the second half.

Lake Forest 54, Evanston 38

The shootout’s second game was all about the Scouts’ defense.

In each of the first three quarters, Lake Forest held the Wildkits without a field goal for at least five minutes. It wasn’t that the Scouts were creating lots of turnovers; they were forcing Evanston into difficult shots.

Lake Forest used its defense to extend a 25-13 lead at the half to 43-19 after three quarters, holding Evanston to just one free throw in the middle five minutes of the third quarter.

Lake Forest, which had lost two of its last four, got 23 points from Alex Forowycz in the win. 

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Michael Wojtychiw

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