Loyola tops Gordon in Catholic League opener
Gordon struggled on the opening night of Catholic League play against Loyola (3-3, 1-0) last Friday night. The Rams (1-1, 0-1) made only 15-of-47 shots and fell behind 20-5 in a 61-37 home loss to the Ramblers.
"We didn't take care of the basketball," admitted Gordon head coach Shay Boyle. "We didn't attack. We only made one of our ten game goals. I didn't do a great job, either. We all have to improve."
"I think we lost our focus," said Gordon junior Dave Andrews. "We didn't play well. We didn't talk on defense. I think we were a little nervous in the first Catholic League game of the season.”
Loyola is certainly one of the tallest teams in the league with four starters over 6-3 in height. The Rams fell behind 20-5 making seven turnovers against Loyola's 1-3-1 zone defense.
"I was proud of our guys," said Loyola head coach Tom Livatino. "Our guys were very focused tonight."
Griffin Hermes and Mike Lang led Loyola with 13 points each as the Ramblers made 24-of-51 shots.
The Rams played better in the final three quarters. But overcoming a 15-point deficit against a good team proved to be difficult.
"They are really good," said Boyle who used to face Loyola when he was a student-athlete at Weber. "They are one of the most well-coached teams. They are big. They are physical. They can shoot the three (point shot). There is no weakness on that team. They have all the right pieces to make a huge run this year."
Boyle has the task of trying to replace nine seniors this season. One of the players he is counting on is junior Dave Andrews. Andrews has excelled at the lower levels with his ability to shoot the basketball.
Andrews was 3-of-10 in the loss to Loyola after scoring eight points in the season opener two weeks ago.
"He's had better days," stated Boyle who believes Andrews will be a contributing factor on offense. "We want him taking 15-20 shots a night. I told him if he doesn't get seven or eight (three point attempts), I haven't done my job. He's got a bright green light (to shoot the basketball)."
"I was a little bit nervous," said Andrews after the game. "I think it was a lot more competition and a lot more talent. It was a little bit of a change. I'm not used to playing against 6-7 guys."
Andrews was welcomed to the Catholic League by Lang who blocked his shot in the opening quarter.
Gordon had only one game scheduled before facing Loyola. The Ramblers came in with four games of experience on the young season. Boyle believed it was better for his inexperienced team to practice.
"Believe it or not, we have gotten better," said Boyle who is aiming to win the school's third straight regional title in basketball this season. "The extra practice time has been huge for us. We could (have) played 35 games and you are (still) going to struggle against a team like Loyola."
Gordon will play twice this week facing Providence St. Mel and St. Ignatius.