After three solid outings, the Cubs had their eyes on the prize as they vied for the tournament championship against Santa Clarita Christian School in the Paul Sutton Tip Off Classic.
PG: Jalen Cox, #3 (6’3”, Sr., G)
SG: Jonas de Krassel, #20 (6’4”,So., G/F)
SF: Vincent Sampson, #30 (6’3”, Sr., F/C)
PF: Hugh Vandeweghe, #24 (6’6”, So., F/C)
C: Parker Jones, #13 (6’6”, Sr., F/C)
The Cubs win the opening tip, and Jones drops a dime to de Krassel for a layup that gets them on the board at the 7:40 mark. Cox is fouled with 7:25 to go, and drills both free throws. The SCCS Cardinals get two free throws to go with 6:57 remaining. Cox gets it to Jones for an easy two with 6:45 left, and it’s a 6-2 lead for the Cubs. A Cardinal three quickly cuts the lead to one, but Vandeweghe’s three-point play gets the Cubs a four-point cushion with 6:27 left. Cox steals the ball and lays it up and in at the 6:09 mark. The offensive showing continues for Loyola, as Sampson gets a putback layup to go plus the foul. He makes the following free throw with 5:44 left in the quarter. Following the Cubs’ 5-0 run, the Cardinals take a timeout with less than five minutes left. They get a steal and layup thirty seconds later. Sampson heads to the line with 4:14 left, and drills both free throws. The Cardinals counter with a jumper with under four minutes left. Jones’ triple makes it a ten-point lead for the Cubs, 19-9, with 3:31 remaining. Jones gets a block, and Vandeweghe gets a putback layup to fall with 3:03 left. The Cardinals refuse to fold, hitting another jumper with 2:22 remaining. Jones swats another shot, but the Cardinals get it back and drain a three, cutting the lead to seven with 1:43 left. Sampson drills a three--yes, you read that correctly--with 1:26 remaining. The senior’s first three of his varsity career gets the Cubs a ten point lead yet again, but the Cardinals bury another triple on the other end with a minute left. Sampson’s strong play continues, making two free throws at the 50-second mark. Santa Clarita makes another three with 27 seconds left, and the Cubs miss three opportunities to score. The Cardinals miss a three to end the quarter.
Score: 26-20 Loyola
The Cardinals begin with possession, but can’t score. Josh Ferguson is fouled at the 7:18 mark, and drills both free throws. He gets a layup to fall with 6:02 remaining, and the Cubs have another double-digit lead. A Ferguson steal leads to Cox free throws with 5:44 remaining in the half. Cox sinks both for a 32-20 Loyola lead over the Cardinals. After retaining possession off a Cardinal miss, an offensive board by the Cubs leads to a nifty layup from Jones with 5:11 left. The Cardinals call another timeout with under five minutes to play in the half, and drill a three with 4:37 remaining. The score is 34-23 Cubs. The Cardinals go on a 9-0 run, draining three triples in 30 seconds to make it a two point game with 2:24 left in the half. Cox drains a two out of a Cub timeout with 2:10 to go. Sampson strikes again, making a three-point-play and a layup to increase the lead back to nine with 1:15 left. Santa Clarita drills another three with 15 seconds left, and the half ends on a Cub miss. The Cubs enter the locker room behind Sampson’s 15 first half points and a perfect 11-for-11 from the free-throw line.
Score: 41-35 Loyola
The Cubs get the ball to begin the second half, and Sampson scores another layup with 7:39 to go. De Krassel’s jumper puts the Cubs up 45-35 with 7:08 remaining. SCCS strikes back with a two of their own on the next possession. Cox gets a sweet eurostep bank layup to fall with 6:30 left, which gets the bench hyped up. A Cardinal block on Cox leads to a layup for them with under six minutes left. Cox finds Jones for an easy layup with 5:06 to go, and the Cubs lead 49-39. Jones gets fouled on a layup at the 4:04 mark but can’t complete the three-point-play. Another Cardinal three brings the lead back to nine with 3:18 remaining in the quarter. Wagner gets sent to the line with 3:16 to go, but makes one of two. Another Cardinal three cuts the lead down to seven, and they call a timeout to reorganize shortly after. The Cardinals swoop in again with a steal and layup at the 1:20 mark, making it a five point game. They get another jumper to fall, but Wagner gets a three-point-play at the other end, helping the Cubs finish the quarter with some momentum going into the fourth.
Score: 55-49 Loyola
The Cubs get the ball again to start the final frame, but can’t capitalize as Jones gets called for traveling with 7:41 left. The Cardinals cut the lead ever so closer with a layup at the 7:07 mark, leaving the Cubs up 55-51. Santa Clarita draws a charge at the 6:59 mark but turns it over 11 seconds later. Coach Powell calls timeout shortly after. After the Cardinals get another steal, Cox takes it right back and finds Jones for a much-needed three with 6:17 remaining. The Cardinals get a layup to fall with 6:07 left, and find themselves back at the line after another steal with under six minutes to play. They nail one of two free throws, and the lead is 58-54 Cubs. Jones comes in clutch yet again, swishing another three with 5:20 to go. Cox gets a fastbreak layup to fall with 4:54 left in the game. This leads to a Cardinals timeout at the 4:50 mark. Jones, the 6’6” sharpshooter cannot be stopped, as he drills another three with under three minutes to play that gives the Cubs a 12-point lead, 66-54. The Cardinals make a layup at the 2:35 mark, briefly stopping the Cubs offense. They are put in the bonus with 2:02 to play, but miss the following free throw. The Cubs join them as Wagner gets sent to the line with 1:57 left, and he misses a free throw too. Jones makes a pair of free throws to put the Cubs up 68-58 with 1:10 to go. From there, it becomes another free throw shooting contest, as the Cardinals, Cox, and Jones each drill one of two from the line, leading to a 70-59 Loyola lead with 30 seconds to play. The Cardinals make a three with 25 seconds left, and de Krassel makes one of two free throws with 18 seconds remaining. The Cubs give up a consolation basket to end the game, and are crowned tournament champions!
FINAL: 71-64 Loyola
After the Cubs’ joyous water celebration, coach Powell praised the team's effort and said that this title-winning feeling should and would continue. Jalen Cox ‘22 was named tournament MVP, and the Cubs beat out 12 participating teams for the Paul Sutton Tip Off Classic title!
Jalen Cox and Parker Jones led the team with 20 points apiece, while Vincent Sampson chipped in 17 points.
Cubs of the Game: Jalen Cox and Vincent Sampson
The CUBS of the Game were Cox and Sampson. After the title win, Sampson said, “A big part of their gameplan is to hit us on fastbreak points, so we had to stop that. We stopped that and we won.” Cox stated, “We’re greater than the sum of our parts. We have a lot of players on this team that help us win, and that’s ultimately what gave us the tournament win.”
The Next Game
The Cubs face Mira Costa in their home opener at Leavey Gym on November 24th at 7:00 PM.