LOS ANGELES -- The smiles were back. So were the laughs and high fives.
Loyola was back to having fun Saturday night, racing past Orange Lutheran, 92-84, in the headliner at the Fairfax State Preview Classic. After an up-and-down week that saw the Cubs slip a full two games back of Alemany in the Mission League, they needed the confidence.
"It's all about having fun," Loyola coach Jamal Adams said. "It's high school basketball. Results are important to us, but they're just high school kids. They have to enjoy the moment."
Loyola (18-3) was coming off a victory Friday night at Chaminade, but still reeling from a 14-point home loss to Alemany earlier in the week. The Cubs trailed by two at halftime Saturday, but there was no panic.
Not with guard Jacob Hazzard shooting the way he was.
"I felt great, the basket looked as big as the ocean," said Hazzard, who poured in a team-high 23 points, including five 3-pointers that had him raising his arms on the way back to the other end of the floor.
Stellar sophomore point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright showed exceptional creativity, especially in finding Hazzard by drawing a second defender. Jackson-Cartwright had 15 points, while Justin Childress and Julian Harrell each had 12 to lead the Cubs to a season-high in points scored.
"We started the week off kind of slow, and we had to come into this game with more energy, more intensity," Jackson-Cartwright said. "It's a big win."
Arizona-bound Gabe York of Orange Lutheran was the leading scorer with 25 points. It was his third game since returning from an appendectomy. Darien Williams had 22 and Payton Banks added 18 for OLu (14-7), which has dropped five of its last seven and now has to face Mater Dei and Long Beach Poly -- arguably the region's top two squads -- back to back.
Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter.