Wolverines fall to Loyola in waning seconds

Chronicle Staff

Despite 29 points from Renaldo Woolridge ’08, the boys’ varsity basketball team lost 80-76 Friday night at Loyola in a game that will help determine the final standings at the top of the Mission League. The loss was the Wolverines’ third straight and gave the Cubs sole possession of first place in the Mission League.

The Wolverines got off to a quick start and led 19-12 at the end of the first quarter. Yet the Cubs came surging back in the next period, and the Wolverines led by just two points at halftime, 33-31.

The second half saw several lead changes, as the two teams traded baskets with each other. Loyola, playing in their home gym, went on a run in the fourth quarter and took a 72-65 lead.

However, in the final minutes of the game, Renaldo Woolridge ’08 proved why he is the Wolverine’s go-to scorer. Woolridge made a scoop shot in the lane and followed it up with a baseline jumper to make the score 72-69 with 2:33 left in the game. He then fired up the large crowd of Fanatics in attendance with a three-pointer to tie the game at 72-72. The Cubs were able to temporarily suppress the Woverines’ run, and they took a 76-72 lead with 1:30 remaining. Yet once again, Woolridge drained a three-pointer to bring the squad within one point.

In the middle of a hot shooting streak and with his team down by one, Woolridge launched another three-pointer on the Wolverine’s next possession, but missed. In the last 20 seconds of the game, the team fouled Loyola’s Georgetown-bound star forward Hollis Thompson twice. He converted on four straight free throws, and sealed the victory for Loyola.

Woolridge led the Wolverines in scoring while guard Austin Kelly ’10 added 17 points and forward Damiene Cain ’11 had 13 points.

Thompson had a game high 33 points for Loyola as the Cubs avenged their Jan. 14 loss to the Wolverines in Taper.

Going into Friday’s contest, the Wolverines and Cubs were tied for first place in the Mission League, each with league records of 9-2. Last week, it appeared as if the Wolverines had first place in the Mission League locked up. However, this is the team’s third loss in a row, with losses to Crespi and Chaminade earlier this week. The Wolverines face St. Francis on the road on Monday in their second to last league game. Loyola will have to lose to Alemany or Chaminade in the coming week, if the Wolverines hope to regain first place in league.