Crespi hands Loyola its first loss

ENCINO -- Crespi’s London Perrantes came through with one of the biggest shots in his high school career. His little jumper in the paint with 2.9 seconds left was the difference in Crespi’s 75-73 win over Loyola in the Mission League opener at Crespi High School on Wednesday night.

Crespi (14-1) handed Loyola (11-1), winners of 11 games in a row to open the season, its first loss. Perrantes, who came into the game as the leading scorer on Crespi with 14.8 points per game, led four Crespi players in double figures.

Crespi coach Russell White said the plan was to let Perrantes decide the fate of the game.

“Get it in his hands and have him make a play,” White said.

Crespi had to rally on its home court. Down by 10 points in the first half, Crespi battled back to tie the score at 62-62 midway through the fourth quarter.

“We left a lot of plays out there on the floor,” Loyola coach Jamal Adams said. “Hopefully it will get our guys' attention. We have some things to work on.”

Christian Johnson came up big for Crespi in the fourth quarter. He scored eight of his 15 points in the final period, draining five clutch free throws and hitting a crucial 3-pointer.

“It’s a game. It has ebbs and flows,” White said. “He made some big plays.”

Johnson’s 3-pointer with 2:12 to play gave Crespi a four-point lead, 71-67.

After Loyola’s Julian Harrell made 1-of-2 free throws to cut the Crespi lead to three points, Parker Jackson-Cartwright hit a 3-pointer to tie the score, 71-71, with 1:40 to play.

Michael Milligan made two free throws to give Crespi a two-point lead, 73-71, but Loyola’s Justin Childress tied the score again with 24 seconds left to play.

With the clock winding down, Perrantes made his move. He drove the lane, into the paint and sank a 10-footer to win the game.

When asked if there was any significance to being the first team to hand Loyola a loss, White said, “I hope they have at least one more.”

Crespi and Loyola meet again at Loyola High School on Jan. 23.