On a day of celebration when Loyola High dedicated the hardwood floor in honor of Dons coaching legend Jerry Savage, Notre Dame-bound Martin Geben and St. Maria Goretti crashed the party.
The Gaels (17-7) broke a halftime tie with a 14-7 run Sunday and won, 56-43.
The combination of inside play from two big forwards, Geben at 6feet9 and Tobias Christensen 6-6, and constant ball pressure from Donte Doleman allowed Goretti to pull away in the second half. The Dons (6-12) got off to a fast start but scored more points in the first quarter, 17, than in the entire second half, 15.
Loyola opened the game with a 7-2 run. A sagging man-to-man defense stifled the Goretti big men and forced them to shoot from the perimeter. And with two minutes left, Ryan Fields (16 points) hit a 3-pointer and Goretti's Christensen answered with a 3 of his own. But Loyola kept Goretti at a distance with Phil Heinrich beating the buzzer for a 17-12 lead.
It was all Geben in the second quarter. He scored half his team's points, eight, including a flush dunk with 2:48 left to cut the Loyola lead to 23-22. Ryan Floyd made two back-to-back driving layups in the closing 90 seconds. But Geben tied the score at 28 with 30 seconds left and raced to the other end to block a go-ahead shot at the buzzer.
The Gaels started the second half with a 6-0 run on consecutive turnovers. Loyola drew within 36-33 with 4:30 left in the quarter, but more pressure and turnovers, and six more points from Geben, allowed Goretti to build the lead.
Loyola's woes continued in the fourth quarter as Goretti started another run, 5-0, with 5:20 left in the game and pushed the lead up to 50-38 with 3:36 left. The Dons managed to get into the 1-and-1 with 1:30 left, and Ryan Conrad made both.
The dedication ceremony took place before the game as Savage was joined on court by his former Mount St. Mary's coach, Jim Phelan. Others in attendance played for Savage and Mount St. Joseph coach Pat Clatchey; some of them went on to Division I schools.
Savage won more than 600 games for Loyola from 1969 to 2003 and coached the Dons to five Catholic League Tournament titles and one Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship.
After hearing so much praise heaped upon himself, Savage especially thanked Phelan and quipped, "I'd like to meet this Jerry Savage."
No. 3 Roland Park 67, Mercy 14: Lindsey Edwards scored 14 points to power the visiting Reds (10-6, 5-2 Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference) past the Magic (0-9, 0-8).
No. 12 Seton Keough 65, Archbishop Spalding 49: Jade Porter scored a game-high 30 points and the visiting Gators (7-7, 4-2 IAAM A Conference) outscored the Cavaliers (3-7, 2-4) 21-12 in the third quarter to break away.GORETTI 56, NO. 5 LOYOLA 43
G—Geben 14, Harris-Winn 12, Christensen 8, Doleman 8, Stewart 6, Walker 5, Blenckstone 3. Totals 25 2-3 56.
L—Fields 16, Heinrich 11, Floyd 6, Plunkett 4, Conrad 2, Fava 2. Totals 16 6-9 43. Half: 28-28.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun