By James Sims
The varsity basketball team, led by Head Coach Jamal Adams, looks to win its next three games to finish the season with a winning record. Although they have an 11-12 record, they are still in the running to clinch a spot in the CIF Playoffs with a 4-5 Mission League record, according to Athletic Coordinator Chris O’Donnell ‘88.
After competing in the #D1Bound Southern California Classic on Saturday, Dec. 26, Loyola went into league play with a 7-6 record.
The Cubs opened up Mission League play at home on Wednesday, Jan. 6, against the Chaminade Eagles. Led by senior center Henry Welsh’s 12 points and 13 rebounds, the Cubs beat the Eagles 51-41. The Cubs then defeated St. Francis High School 68-61 on Friday, Jan. 8. Welsh was a prime contributor in this game, supplying the Cubs with 27 points and 13 rebounds.
League play continued with a 52-64 loss to Crespi, leading to a 2-1 league record for the Cubs. With a 58-72 loss to Alemany and a 64-56 loss to Harvard Westlake in the following days, the Cubs faced Notre Dame at home where they lost 46-53, culminating in a 2-4 league record. However, the Cubs regrouped and won their next game against Chaminade on Wednesday, Jan. 27, with a score of 64-49. The team’s next game was a nail-biting 54-53 win in overtime against St. Francis, improving Loyola’s history with St. Francis to 18 consecutive wins. Loyola’s most recent game on Feb. 3 ended in its second loss to Crespi this season, 64-53. The Cubs will host the Alemany High School Warriors on Feb. 5 for a chance to win their 12th game of the season and reach an even 12-12 record.
With five seniors on his team, Coach Adams stresses how important their leadership is to the team. Adams said, “These guys are very important for this team. They have put in effort since day one, and I fully appreciate their dedication to this team.” Coach Adams also said he is very proud of this year’s team and all their progress this season. These seniors are accompanied by nine juniors with a lot of potential, according to Coach Adams, who said, “These juniors are very skilled and have showed they deserved their spots on varsity. These players have a lot of upside and I think that they will produce this year and the next.”
Although the Cubs have a near even season record, they are still in contention to make a CIF Southern Section Playoff berth if they win two of their next three games and maintain an even record in Mission League play to avoid their first losing season in nine seasons.