A key inside presence has returned to the Loyola Academy starting lineup.
The Ramblers, who defeated visiting Providence 46-39 on Friday night, welcomed back Griffin Boehm. The senior post player had been sidelined six games with a dislocated shoulder.
“Griffin did everything he could to get back,” said LA head coach Tom Livatino.
“He was a little rusty tonight, but it was great to have him on the court,” the coach added.
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Boehm, a three-year varsity player, didn’t tear it up statistically. He finished with only two points and five rebounds.
Boehm’s lone basket came on his second attempt of the game, when he tossed in a jump hook from 12 feet out with 3:56 left in the first period.
He was there in the end. Three of his rebounds came in the final five minutes of the game.
Livatino was thrilled to have No. 4 back in uniform. The veteran coach, however, wasn’t real keen with the way his team ended the third quarter and started the fourth quarter.
The Celtics (4-5), who trailed by 12 points midway through the third quarter, battled back to take a one-point lead, 32-31, with 5:40 left in regulation.
“We’re not exactly where we want to be right now,” said Livatino. “Our offense is lacking flow. Lacking continuity. “
Still, the Ramblers, who improved to 6-2 overall, closed out the game in flawless fashion. Guard Michael Mangan, who scored seven of his team-high 18 points in the final six minutes, ignited the comeback, when he turned two steals into fast-break layups.
LA’s six-minute, 17-point outburst also featured a pair of ice-in-the-veins three-pointers. First, it was Peter Poggioli bombing one in from the right corner at the 5:00 mark. Then, at the 2:54 mark, Ricky Cedar drilled one in from the left corner. Both shots were set up on passes by sophomore Ramar Evans.
Evans, who finished the game with 11 points, four rebounds and three assists, helped to seal the win by hitting two free throws with 45 seconds left to push LA’s lead to four points, 43-39.
LA’s other standout finished the game with exactly … 0 points. Despite not scoring — he only took one shot — Mark Dowdle came off the bench and made his presence known on the defensive end.
Dowdle, a star defensive back for the LA football team, spent most of the night collecting particles of dust by diving on the floor for loose balls. He finished the game with four steals. He nearly had six.
“His toughness is through the roof,” said Livatino. “What he brings is a great example to the other guys on the team. Right now, I just wish it would be a little more contagious.”