KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WGNO) — They were the best team in the nation, and proved it again in the national championship game.
Loyola defeated Talladega 71-56 to win the NAIA national championship Tuesday night in Kansas City. It was the second national championship for the school in any sport, and first since the school re-started athletics in the 1991-1992 school year.
Loyola won its first hoops title in 1945.
“It is amazing,” said Wolf Pack head coach Stacy Hollowell. “It’s a culmination of a long four years, a vision that we had with these guys. We’ve been able to put the pieces in play to pull off something really special for the city, and for our state.”
Myles Burns had 17 points, 17 rebounds, and 4 steals for the Wolfpack, 37-1, and winners of 21 consecutive games.
Zach Wrightsil had 19 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 steals.
Loyola led 36-21 at the half.
Talladega closed to within 5 points, 50-45, before the Wolfpack pulled away.
Burns said the win was “surreal” following the game. “It’s not easy to beat a team four times and we did that,” he continued.
Wrightsil, who spoke with WGNO prior to the game, shared Burns’ joy.
“We did this as a team, as a family, as a group of brothers,” said the Southern States Athletic Conference Player of the Year. “We are never going to forget this moment, ever.”