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With four potential starters not playing for Loyola for various reasons, coach Tom Livatino didn’t know what to expect going up against Hales on Friday in a Catholic League North showdown.
Jack Morrissey was able to put his coach at ease scoring 24 points in a 46-37 victory for the Ramblers.
After trailing 27-19 at the half, Loyola’s defense forced nine turnovers in the third quarter and Morrissey drained three three-pointers to ignite the Ramblers (4-1, 1-0) to a 13-3 run. Morrissey drained another three to spark a 9-0 run in the fourth quarter stretching Loyola’s lead to 41-31 with 4:29 remaining in the game. Hales could not get closer than eight points in the final three minutes.
“My teammates did a great job of finding me,” Morrissey said. “We knew they were a very quick team and we were first looking to go backdoor, but when they over played, it opened up things on the outside and I was able to knock down some shots.”
“This is who he is and that is what he does” said Livatino referring to Morrissey’s performance. “As a team we adjusted well and handled their defensive pressure. We had people step up after a slow first half and play much better in the second half.”
Shaquon Alexander and Larry Kirkendall scored ten points each to lead the Spartans (2-4, 0-1).
“We got very tentative in the second half,” Hales coach Gary London said. “You have to give them credit for playing defense, but a lot of the turnovers we were just plain unforced errors and not taking care of the ball.”