Boys Basketball: St. Rita fends off Loyola
By Rob Valentin For Sun-Times Media December 21, 2012 11:28PM
Updated: January 24, 2013 6:35AM
Charles Matthews’ steal and dunk with 3:13 to play in the fourth quarter Friday night gave St. Rita a one-point lead over Loyola.
Little did Matthews know he just hit the game-winner.
In a game dominated by defense, the Mustangs escaped Wilmette with a 36-35 win in a Catholic League crossover.
“I saw my teammate playing aggressive defense and I got to the topside,” Matthews said. “I went in for the steal and thankfully, I got a breakaway dunk.”
Matthews (10 points, 3 steals, 3 rebounds), a 6-foot-5 sophomore guard, also made some clutch plays in the final minute. He picked off a pass in the lane with just over 13 seconds left.
Although Matthews missed the front end of a one-and-one with 10.8 seconds to play, he blocked James Clarke’s last-second shot to preserve the win.
No. 6 St. Rita (7-2, 3-1) got the better of Loyola (6-4, 2-2) early, taking a 16-11 lead after Armani Chaney drained a three-pointer to beat the first-quarter buzzer.
The Mustangs offense went missing in the second quarter as they didn’t record a point. The Ramblers managed just five points of their own settling for a 16-16 halftime tie. Each team had four three-pointers in the first half.
St. Rita’s offense remained in hiding until Victor Law got it kick-started by nailing a three with 4:07 left in the third. Law (12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals) converted two more treys in the quarter as the Mustangs took a 27-25 lead into the fourth.
“I was kind of feeling it so I just kept shooting,” Law said. “I really had confidence in my shot and I let it go.”
The two teams traded the lead in the fourth. The Ramblers’ Chris Sullivan knocked down a pair of threes in the period. Loyola’s last lead was with 4:34 remaining after Richie Wehman converted two free throws for a 35-34 advantage.
Jack Morrissey led the Ramblers with 12 points. Loyola shot 8-of-25 from beyond the arc.