Home Sports Trevians come back in decisive fourth quarter and defeat Ramblers to advance to sectional championship game on Friday

Trevians come back in decisive fourth quarter and defeat Ramblers to advance to sectional championship game on Friday

Trevians come back in decisive fourth quarter and defeat Ramblers to advance to sectional championship game on Friday

Playoff basketball. A rivalry victory. And a transparent path to the basket.

It was all right in front of Will Leemaster for a moment that typically only plays out in daydreams.

“It was nuts. I even have never dunked in-game, aside from summer league,” the Recent Trier senior said. “Despite the fact that it didn’t count, to top it off like that, against a rival, it’s insane — a surreal feeling.”

Leemaster’s breakaway tomahawk slam happened microseconds after the ultimate buzzer, but that didn’t dull the theatrics. The slam sent the Recent Trier bench and crowd right into a frenzy to have a good time the Trevians’ 36-32 sectional-semifinal win against Loyola Academy, the sectional’s top seed, on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at Maine South High School.

Leemaster had earned the epic finish. The senior racked up a series of massive plays in the ultimate quarter, including a three-point play that gave his team its first advantage because the second quarter. Two plays later, his defensive deflection forced a pivotal Ramblers’ turnover and he altered Loyola’s final shot.

The Trevians Ian Brown (left) and Ramblers Miles Boland fight for the loose ball within the sectional matchup.

“There’s only ball and just one hoop,” said Leemaster, a team captain who is just not typically a harbinger of massive point totals. “The blokes who aren’t scoring can all the time do something in support and to effect winning. That’s what coach tells me. I can have zero points and effect winning.”

Leemaster and the Trevians’ fourth-quarter effort accomplished a comeback that saw them down six points, 21-15, at halftime. Recent Trier, specifically junior Colby Smith, salted the sport away on the free-throw line. After missing his first two freebies, Smith sank five of his final six and finished with a team-high 12 points.

Logan Feller added 10, Leemaster 6 and Brown 5, including a key fourth-quarter triple.

In a repeat matchup from 2023, Recent Trier will battle Glenbrook North, which bested Glenbrook South Tuesday night, for the sectional championship at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 1, at Maine South. The Trevians knocked off the Spartans in the ultimate seconds of last yr’s sectional finale, and the teams split their season series (1-1) this yr.

Like a lot of the game Tuesday, the Ramblers couldn’t find quality shots down the stretch. Loyola coach Tom Livatino took plenty of the responsibility for his team’s lack of offensive execution and credited Recent Trier for its fierce defensive effort.

Logan Feller gets to the basket for a lay-in for Recent Trier.

“They are only really physical,” he said of the Trevians. ” … They usually pose an issue for us. Switching man (defense) takes away the flow of your offense and it makes you’ve to do some isolation stuff, which isn’t our thing.

“I credit them greater than whatever we didn’t execute. They’re tough.”

A slow first quarter ended with a 6-4 Recent Trier advantage, but Loyola got here alive within the second quarter. Junior Donovan Robinson provided a serious lift off the bench. His three buckets helped the Ramblers tally 17 within the quarter and take a six-point halftime lead.

Recent Trier closed the gap within the third quarter, getting three-pointers from Smith and Feller, after which finished off the Ramblers ultimately.

Loyola ends its special season with 27 victories, the third most in program history. The Ramblers were also a regional champion, won their winter-break tournament in Florida and topped St. Ignatius to win the Jesuit Cup.

In 2020, the Ramblers looked poise to compete for a state championship. At 30-4, they set a program record for wins and were the sectional’s top seed. They were about to play within the sectional championship when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the IHSA tournament.

Since, players like Miles Boland, Jimmy Tarjan and Andrew Hollerich have helped construct Loyola back as much as a contender once more.

“I’m super happy with our team,” Livatino said. “We were on the mountaintop of highschool basketball in 2020, then we slid down a bit, and last yr we began to come back back as much as the mountain and these guys had quite a bit to do with it. We took a way greater step this yr.

“This is just not how we wanted to complete by any stretch but I’m really happy with our guys. There are plenty of positive things.”

Senior Miles Boland wins a race to the rim for the Ramblers.

Boland led the Ramblers with 12 points Tuesday, while Robinson finished with 8 and Hollerich 6. Brendan Loftus grabbed 6 rebounds.

A 3-year varsity starter, Boland established himself as among the finest two-way players in the realm by his senior season and thanked the Loyola basketball program.

“Loyola basketball is great. It’s probably the perfect thing that’s happened to me yet in my life,” he said. “I like this team, the fellows, the coaches are the perfect thing ever. It means the world to me.”

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