Boys’ basketball loses to Loyola 66-61


Forward Mason Hooks ’20, leading scorer against rival Loyola High School, goes up to the basket during 66-61 loss. Credit: Keila McCabe/Chronicle

Keila McCabe

Boys’ basketball lost to rival Loyola High School last night 66-61, giving the team its first league loss of the season. The team is currently 12-5 overall and 2-1 in league. Wing Holden McRae ’20 said the team was upset with the loss but wants to use it as motivation to get better.

“We’re definitely disappointed, but we try to learn from every game regardless of the outcome,” McRae said. “A loss like this hurts, but fortunately there’s a lot of time left in the season to improve and move on from it.

From the start of the game, the Wolverines trailed the Loyola Cubs. At the end of the first quarter, the Cubs were leading 15-13. Throughout the game, the squad was unable to convert on several possessions at the rim and allowed Cubs’ forward James Keefe ’19 to command the court with dunks.

The Wolverines were able to recover in the second quarter and ended the half leading 30-29. Forward Mason Hooks ’20 controlled the post and scored several baskets to aid the Wolverines’ comeback. Hooks led the team in scoring with 29 points, followed by guard Johnny Juzang ’20 with 19.

In the third quarter, the Cubs offense was met by little defense and they secured the majority of rebounds and outscored the Wolverines. At the end of the third, the squad trailed 48-42. McRae said the team learned things it needs focus on improving offensively and defensively.

“On offense, we are definitely focused on limiting turnovers,” McRae said. “Defensively, we have to remain locked in throughout the entire game. I think we had a couple lapses on defense tonight, but that’s something we’ll see on film and address going forward.”

During the fourth quarter, the Wolverines made scoring runs but the Cubs were able to maintain their lead. However, the squad and Fanatics student cheering section did not lose faith late into the fourth quarter. Fanatics continued to meet every Loyola airball with a roaring cheer and the Wolverines tried to force turnovers from the Cubs with a full court press on defense but they were ultimately unsuccessful.

Wolverine fanatics get rowdy after a Loyola Cub airballs a shot. Credit: Keila McCabe/Chronicle

Coming out of the loss, McRae said the team sees room for improvement and hopes to move on with new lessons learned.

“The biggest thing for us coming out of this game is to take it as a learning experience,” McRae said. “We definitely have a lot to work on to get to the level we’re capable of reaching, and that is something we embrace. With a long season ahead of us, we need to learn from this game, improve on our mistakes, and move on to the next.”

The team’s next game is against St. Francis on Jan. 16 in Taper Gym with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.