Archbishop Curley had a 26-16 lead over Loyola at the half on Wednesday afternoon in East Baltimore before the Dons’ Mitch Cross went on a fourth quarter shooting spree to lead the Dons to an exciting 42-39 come from behind win over the Friars.
The contest marked the season opener for Loyola, while Curley, last year’s MIAA B Conference runner-up, fell to 0-2 with both losses coming against MIAA A Conference foes.
The Dons were trailing by six at the end of three quarters when Cross hit back-to-back threes to tie the game with 6:20 to go in regulation. Junior Matt Dunn nailed a jumper from behind the arc to give Loyola the lead, and the Dons hung on to gain the win.
The Dons hit nine three’s on the day, and their defense put the clamps on sophomore Daxter Miles in the second half, which turned out to be the key to the victory.
Miles had 12 points in the first half, but was held to just two field goals in the last 16 minutes as a tenacious Loyola defense held the Friars to just five fourth quarter points.
“In the second half, we played a good all around game,” said Loyola coach Josh Davalli. “We held them to 13 points in the second half, and we were able to help out on Miles, who played an extremely good game. Offensively we had some young guys step up and make shots.”
Junior Dan Vigas hit two threes in the opening period, and he finished with 12 points and Cross lead the Dons with 14.
Vigas said that the team has been shooting well in practice of late. “Today we brought our shot, and our defense kept us in it.”
Cross agreed. “It was all defense,” said the sharpshooting sophomore. “We fought back and played great defense.”
Curey coach Andy Bauer said he was proud of his team because they didn’t quit, but he expected more out of his defense.
“Our shots just didn’t fall today,” said Bauer. “I told the kids that I felt like we lost
the game because we didn’t execute down the stretch. We allowed them to get uncontested open shots.”
Loyola will open their BCL/MIAA A Conference schedule on December 14 when they travel to Bel Air to play upstart John Carroll.
Curley (0-2) opens in the B Conference on Monday, at St. Paul’s on Monday, in a rematch of last year’s championship game. The Crusaders were also in action on Wednesday and they pulled a 58-46 upset of reigning BCL champion Calvert Hall.
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|Loyola Blakefield 42, Archbishop Curley 39|
Cross 14, Dunn 8, Vigas 12, Marsh 2, Bradley 3, Floyd 3.
Miles 16, Harrison 8, Barton 6, Huff 2, Wade 7.