Matt Lynch is hitting his stride.
The Loyola Academy guard came up with his best varsity performance ever in the team’s 56-40 victory over visiting Providence St. Mel on Tuesday night.
Lynch, a recent recipient of the team’s Intangible Player of the Week honor for his game against Notre Dame on Dec. 2 (9 rebounds, 2 charges taken, 2 50/50 balls won and 100 percent free-throw shooting), led all scorers with 18 points.
The 6-foot-1 senior also pulled down nine rebounds to go along with three assists and two steals.
“Offensively, Matt has been very good for us,” said LA head coach Tom Livatino. “He’s still a long way from being the finished product. There are still areas that need to be tightened up. But again, he’s been very good.”
The Ramblers, who didn’t allow a single point for the first 7 minutes and 4 seconds of the game, jumped out to a 13-3 first-quarter lead. Lynch played a big part in that early outburst. He hit two three-pointers and a mid-range jumper in the frame.
Lynch, who ended up 8-for-10 from the field, also helped to put the finishing touches on this victory. He tallied nine points in the fourth period.
Senior standout Ramar Evans also had a strong game: 15 points, five rebounds and five assists. He went 6-for-6 from the foul line in the decisive fourth quarter.
The Ramblers, who led 19-15 at halftime, also got a lift from junior shooting guard Kevin Cunningham (11 points). He hit a pair of three-pointers in the third quarter to help LA pull away.
Game Rating: C+
Referee Rating: B-
Loyola’s Game Balls: Matt Lynch (point guard), Ramar Evans (forward)
Providence St. Mel’s Game Ball: Tyriel Nelson (guard)
Loyola’s Player of the Game: Lynch
Loyola’s Stat Leaders: Lynch (18 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals), Evans (15 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists), Kevin Cunningham (11 points, 3 3-pointers, 4 rebounds), Julian DeGuzman (7 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists)
St. Mel’s Stat Leaders: Nelson (11 points), D’Andre Payne (10 points)
Loyola’s Unsung Hero: Jack Martinus
Notables: Jack Martinus, a wideout for the Loyola Academy football team, got his first start of the season. … LA head coach Tom Livatino pulled his starting five with 3:45 left in the second quarter. He inserted five fresh players: Kai Khasu, Peter Mangan, Tony Reyes, Vahe Kalayjian and Teddy Falkenhayn. The experiment— or ploy — lasted 1 minute, 3 seconds. … LA starting point guard Matt Lynch recently announced that he has made a verbal commitment to play basketball at St. Norbert College. … With the league win over Providence St. Mel, the Ramblers snapped a three-game losing streak. Two of the losses came in overtime — against New Trier and Notre Dame. … LA will play at DePaul College Prep on Dec. 9. They have a true star in Perry Cowan. The 6-foot-4 sophomore guard received a scholarship offer from the University of Illinois this summer. Tom Kleinschmidt coaches the Rams.
Sound Bites: “We’ve got a meat grinder of a schedule. That’s what [assistant coach Paul Pryma] likes to call it. We just have to plod through it.” — LA head coach Tom Livatino.