Down by double digits several times, Los Angeles Loyola stubbornly refused to let unbeaten Etiwanda pull away. And when the fourth quarter came Saturday night, the Cubs hung around long enough to overtake the Eagles and end their 21-game winning streak, 70-64, in the Fairfax State Preview Classic.
"This is a huge win for us," said Loyola's Julian Harrell, who scored 18 points and contributed several clutch free throws in the fourth quarter. "We lost to Harvard-Westlake a couple weeks ago. We made it a goal to try to finish off the season undefeated, and we knew Etiwanda was a big step."
Loyola (17-5) trailed by eight points going into the fourth quarter but made 12 of 15 free throws. Etiwanda (21-1) , ranked No. 2 in the Southland by The Times, suddenly went cold after Loyola switched to a zone defense. Byron Wesley finished with 30 points but only four points came in the final quarter.
"Free-throw shooting comes down to will and toughness," Loyola Coach Jamal Adams said. "When the game was on the line, they locked in and focused and knocked down free throws, and it really allowed us to come back and take the lead."