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Article updated: 3/7/2014 11:29 PM
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Maine West's all-out effort takes Loyola down to wire
 

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Maine West's all-out effort takes Loyola down to wire
Bill Esbrook

Maine West took Loyola, one of the top ranked teams in the state, to the brink of elimination Friday night.

The Warriors scored at the buzzer in regulation to send the regional final game into overtime, but ran out of gas in extra stanza.

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Top-seeded Loyola scored the first 8 points in OT to hold off No. 9 Maine West 70-64 and win the regional crown in Des Plaines on the Warriors' home court.

"I thought we had it," said senior guard Joel Ferraren after West forced the extra session. "We had all the momentum and all the energy. We just didn't get the stops we needed to."

"We weren't worried about rankings or anything like that. We were more concerned about what we do. When we play our game we can compete with anyone."

Ferraren scored 19 points while classmate Jamal Sherman led the team with a game-high 24.

Griffin Boehm, a 6-foot-4 junior, fronted a tough Ramblers' effort with 12 rebounds to go along with 12 points while Jack Morrissey had a team-high 19 points.

"Maine West is definitely one of the better teams we've faced all year," said Morrissey. "They've got some great players and they're well coached."

Sherman spent most of the first half on the bench in foul trouble, but more than made up for it after intermission.

The senior scored 11 consecutive points to begin the third quarter to get the Warriors, who trailed by double digits, back into contention.

"Our kids haven't had this kind of success in a while," said Maine West coach John Bongiorno. "So at halftime I just tried to get them to relax. Loyola was making a lot of treys in transition and we had to try to limit that."

West still trailed 59-57 with seconds remaining in regulation when a missed Loyola free throw gave the Warriors possession.

They took advantage when Sherman drove the length of the court and laid the ball in off the glass in traffic as the horn sounded.

"I just looked at the guys at that point," Bongiomo said "And I said, ‘Are you loving this or what?' I told them to be happy where they were at and just go out and get it."

A couple of missed free throws early in the overtime hurt the Warriors, who didn't score until Sherman hit a long 3-pointer in the final minute to bring West within 67-62.

Loyola was able to close the game out at the free throw line.

Seniors Kevin Kucera and James Clarke scored 17 points for the Ramblers, who finished 10-of-25 from 3-point range.

Rag Patel had 8 points for West, Anthony Dones added 6 and Adam Wessell contributed with 7 boards as the Warriors matched Loyola with 10 3's of their own.

"We played well tonight," Bongiomo said. "But you've got to give Loyola credit. They're a championship-caliber team. They've got some great shooters."

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