Boys Basketball: Loyola Academy's War on the Shore
WILMETTE -- With the boys basketball season heading to the home stretch, Loyola offers up Saturday's elite tripleheader, billed as the War on the Shore.
Niles Notre Dame will face New Trier at 4:30 p.m. to kick off the event, followed by Benet against Evanston at 6 p.m. and the host Ramblers taking on St. Viator at 7:30 p.m. All three games will be broadcast by CN100, The Comcast Network, on Sunday, Feb. 2, and available with Xfinity On Demand. Visit www.cn100.tv for air dates and times.
The nightcap figures to be a showcase of high-powered guard play. St. Viator's guard-oriented attack is led by Drake signee Ore Arogundade (averaging 20 points, 10 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game) is a McDonald's All-American nominee.
Three junior guards also fuel St. Viator's attack. Roosevelt Smart averages 16 points, five rebounds and three assists per game. Pat McNamara, posting 12 points per game, has hit 46 three-pointers. Point guard Mark Falotico has been back for four games after missing the first 14 due to injury.
"We are playing really well of late," St. Viator coach Mark Howland said. "With Mark only coming back a couple weeks ago, we are still working on fully coming together, which takes time because these guys have never played all together. When we are locked in on the defensive end, we are very tough to beat because we have so much firepower on the offensive end."
Loyola is off to a 16-2 start behind one of the best three-point shooting teams in recent memory. Senior Jack Morrissey leads the way, averaging 17.2 points. The reigning CCL Player of the Year is on the verge of breaking Glenbrook North legend Jon Scheyer's all-time three-point record. Fellow senior James Clarke averages 17.7 points per game and is shooting 41 percent from three-point range. Point guard Kevin Kucera runs the show and junior Griffin Boehm keeps people honest down low.
"They are one of the best shooting teams I have ever seen at the high school level, so we will have to do a good job of guarding the three-point arc," Howland said. "I don't think there is a game this year that will have more talented guards on the floor than our game Saturday."
The star of the event is in the middle game, as Xavier signee Sean O'Mara leads Benet against a balanced Evanston squad. The 6-foot-10 O'Mara is averaging 24 points and 13 rebounds per game this season.
The Wildkits, on the other hand, are a balanced, deep squad led by Will Jones' 10.3 points per game. They have four players averaging between 10.3 and 8.6 points per game, and no player has started every game this season.
The first game features two teams coming off of great seasons with a combined one starter back this season. New Trier's Jordan Thomas is the only returning starter in the game, but both teams have still had a lot of success with inexperienced rosters this season.
Joe Mooney leads Notre Dame at 19 points per game. The Dons shoot 40 percent from three-point range as a team. New Trier has won six of its last eight games. David Hammes drilled seven three-pointers against Rockford Lutheran.
In addition to the great basketball action, there is a charitable angle to the event, as well. The proceeds from the gate and concessions for all games go to The Danny Did Foundation, which raises awareness and funds for the prevention of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy. Find more at www.dannydid.org.
- Paul Johnson, CN100 Correspondent
Stay up to date on all of CN100's games this season by visiting our website, or follow Game of the Week on Facebook and Twitter to see where our crew will be next. When the games are done, tune into to see the best in Chicagoland prep sports each week with CN100 Sports Weekly. You can also find video clips and highlights with Sports Weekly on YouTube.