Back and forth battle slips away late in overtime; Gioioso scores career high

Loyola Blakefield made a strong bid for the St. Pius X Tournament title this past weekend in Atlanta, winning its first two games, but the No. 12 Dons fell just short, losing to host St. Pius X in the final, 72-68, in overtime Saturday night.

Loyola started fast, leading 17-12 after one quarter and 33-26 at the half, but St. Pius battled back to lead, 45-44, after three quarters. The action continued to flow back and forth and Loyola went up by two with a minute left in regulation. St. Pius then took a two point lead, with five seconds remaining, before Loyola’s Bennett Gioioso scored off an offensive rebound to send the game to overtime.

The overtime period was back and forth with each team holding multiple one point leads. With the score tied and 40-seconds remaining, St. Pius X’s Nico Broadway made a three pointer. After another Loyola score by Gioioso, Pius sealed the game with free throws as Loyola (10-7) settled for second in the tournament.

Mitch Fischer led the Dons with 21 points. Tryllian Young had 16 and Gioioso contributed a career high 13. Fischer and Young were both named to the All Tournament team.