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Powerful Loyola Frustrates a Game St. Francis, 115-92

John Jordan looked up at the scoreboard and shook his head.

Jordan’s St. Francis High boys’ basketball team had just scored 92 points against the defending Del Rey League champion Loyola Cubs--and still lost by 23 points.

“It’s frustrating,” Jordan said, after Loyola ran past St. Francis, 115-92, in a Del Rey opener Tuesday night at St. Francis. “We played so damn hard and lost by 25.”

It figured to be a shoot-out.

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St. Francis (9-6) was 6-0 at home this season and had won 7 of its last 8.

Loyola, which won its first basketball title in 10 years last season, had won 11 of its 13 games coming into the contest, breaking the century mark on several occasions. The 115 points against St. Francis set a Cub record, breaking the mark of 111 Loyola established earlier this season against St. Paul.

The scary thing about the Cubs is that all 5 starters are underclassmen.

“I don’t think we have a monopoly on the league title yet,” said Loyola Coach Bill Thomason, whose team shot 66%. “We’re not going to walk on the floor and win it. We are going to have to earn it.”

They certainly earned the win against the small but scrappy Golden Knights.

St. Francis led, 19-18, after 1 period and stayed with the taller Cubs midway through the second quarter, but Loyola made 15 of 17 shots in the second period to surge to a 51-45 halftime lead.

Ryan Jamison, a 6-foot, 10-inch junior center, led Loyola with 16 points in the first half, then watched junior forward Eric Jones heat up in the second half. Jones scored 20 of his game-high 28 points in the final 2 periods as the Cubs fought off several St. Francis charges and led comfortably, 96-77, midway through the fourth quarter.

St. Francis shot just 39% and the Cubs held St. Francis’ leading scorer, Allen Freemon, 8 points under his season average. Freemon, one of the top 3-point shooters in the Southern Section, finished with 14 points, making just 3 3-point shots.

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The Golden Knights, trailing, 70-50, at one point in the third period, fought back to within 72-64, and trailed just 76-67 after 3 quarters. They got as close as 77-70 in the fourth period, before Jones and reserve guard Derek Pratt, who scored 9 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter, put Loyola out of reach.

Five-foot, 2-inch guard Tom Parada led St. Francis with 17 points. Jeff Dyrek and Dominic Mumolo added 16 points apiece for the Golden Knights.

Jamison had 20 points and 14 rebounds for Loyola, and Jamal Adams added 15 points and 15 rebounds.

Loyola outrebounded St. Francis, 55-30.

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