Boys Live Game Log : Loyola vs. St. Frances

7:10 PM

Welcome to the MIAA “A” quarterfinal between Loyola (16-9) and St. Frances (21-8) What can we expect? My guess is as good as former Director of the Fed Alan Greenspan. He has no idea either. Early in January St. Frances rolled over the Dons 69-46. But just two weeks ago, the Panthers needed triple overtime to dispatch Loyola 59-57. Tip off is just minutes away.

7:22 PM

The snow storm that caused school to close for a few days this week has the players a little out of synch. You may add the refs to the sluggishness. It took three jump balls just to start the game. Everyone kind of playing carefully, and there is very little scoring. At the 3:00 minute mark of the 1st quarter, game tied at two.

7:31 PM

The last three minutes saw the Panthers come to life, and they prevented the Dons from joining. Smothering quickness and plenty of inside presence from 6’6″ senior forward Aric Brooks has St. Frances up 13-2 after one quarter of play. An observation now, Panthers senior guard Desmond Thomas makes the left lane of the Autobahn look slow. He’s so quick, you barely see his hands move. You’re left watching a blur. I will call him the Magician. David Blaine wishes his hands were that fast.

7:45 PM

Loyola played far better the 2nd quarter. Offensively Josh Devalli’s screen and cut system was efficiently run and the Dons started getting some good shots. They were only outscored 13-12 in the quarter. That said, the Panthers dominance inside and tenacious defense leaves Loyola shaking its collective head. St. Frances head coach William Wells has his kids schooled beautifully in the arts of pressure defense. Aric Brooks now has 11 points to lead the Panthers to a half time cushion of 26-14. Matt Rum paces the Dons with 5 points.

8:02 PM

As I recently heard uttered in the TV-11 Sports office “Wowie Wow!” Seemed silly then, but appropriate now. With Loyola creeping back into the game, having cut the lead to single digits, we found the play of the game. Matt Rum for Loyola ( a very good shooting sophomore) was alone inside for an seemingly easy layup. Out of nowhere, Sean Mosely for the Panthers flew across the lande for the block. The ball then headed out of bounds towards the Loyola bench, or so the lawsof physics seemed to demand. Instead, Niji Hibbert for St. Frances lept over the Loyola bench, right over the players, saving the ball to the Magician (see earlier post). Ahead then to Anthony Oquendo, who must have been so stunned by the play he almost dropped the pass for a layup. He rallied and scored to compl.ete the play of teh game. One more time, Wowie Wow. Oh yeah, the score, 35-21 St. Frances 1:03 left in the 3rd quarter.

8:19 PM

Desperation time for Loyola St Frances had the lead built to 15. Credit the Dons, their press caused some problems and cut the lead to ten. But too much speed and size for the Panthers. Sean Mosely nearly took the rim down after a Loyola turnover. His dunk put St. Frances up 45-28 with 1:43 left to play in the game.

8:29 PM

St. Frances held on for the win 47-37. Aric Brooks led all scorers with 15 for the Panthers. Matt Rum hit double figures for the Dons with 11. After the first quarter Loyola basically played St. Frances even, but of course all quarters count the same. Next up for St. Frances, the Panthers earn another shot at top seed Towson Catholic on Tuesday in the MIAA A semifinals. T.C. head coach Josh Pratt watched the game here tonight and saw nothing he didn’t expect. St. Frances has speed to spare, but his Owls certainly own the size department. Hope you enjoyed the game log, thanks for checking in.

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