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St. Viator's Ore Arogundade drives towards the hoop during their game against Loyola Academy in the Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic Challenge on Saturday, December 15, 2012, in Wilmette, IL. | Chandler West~For Sun-Times Media

After the game, most of the reporters weren’t even sure if St. Viator sophomore Patrick McNamara had played in the first half. He had not made any sort of an impression on the stat sheet.

There was no question that he played in the second. McNamara scored 12 points, including a crucial string of three consecutive baskets in the third quarter that turned the tide towards the Lions and a 57-53 win over host Loyola at the Chicago Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic Conference Challenge in Wilmette.

“I got in for a couple minutes in the first half,” McNamara said. “In the second half [St. Viator coach Mike Howland] just stuck with me.”

McNamara drained a three with 3:51 to play in the third and then scored on consecutive drives to the basket. His seven point burst helped erase a four-point Loyola lead.

“Sometimes I can get in a groove like that,” McNamara said. “I’ve been playing a little tentative. Tonight I just let it go I guess.”

McNamara was the spark, but Ore Arogundade continues to be the rock for St. Viator (7-1). The 6-3 junior scored a game-high 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

“[McNamara] is a good player when he wants to be,” Arogundade said. “He gets timid at times. I told him to be aggressive, he was shooting well.”

The Lions have more than one talented sophomore. Mark Falotico is already one of the area’s top point guards. He scored 12 and grabbed four rebounds.

St. Viator, led by Kevin Hammarlund, did an excellent job holding down Loyola sharpshooter Jack Morrissey, who finished with 12 points but was never able to get into his usual grove from beyond the arc. Morrissey finished 1-for-5 from three point range.

Junior James Clarke led the Ramblers (6-3) with 19 points. Kevin Kucera added 11.

It was a major statement weekend for the Lions, who beat highly-regarded conference foe Marist on Friday.

“Those were two real good tests for us,” Arogundade said. “I think we opened some eyes [this weekend], not only in the conference but all around the area.”

Benet, Notre Dame and St. Patrick all won earlier in the day so it was a complete sweep for the East Suburban Catholic over the Catholic League in the first of what is expected to be an annual event.

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