That crash landing, where Brandon Motzel went horizontal after his ferocious breakaway dunk and banged his hip on Carmel Catholic's court, could have been ugly.
Motzel escaped injury-free, while eluding a hustling Marist defender.
"It was worth it," Motzel, a 6-foot-7 junior, said of the fall, which happened late in the third quarter. "It felt good to get the crowd into it and get us going."
Actually, it did get ugly for the Corsairs.
Despite Motzel's season-high 20 points, which also included a nifty tip-in of a missed shot with 3.1 seconds left in the third to put his team up 1, Carmel fell to Marist 72-65 in East Suburban Catholic Conference action in Mundelein Friday night.
Marist sophomore Lexus Williams beat the first-quarter buzzer with a 3-pointer and -- in crushing fashion for Carmel -- repeated his feat to end the third. His running 3 had the RedHawks up 47-45.
"That kind of deflated our team a little bit," said Carmel guard Tim Hendricks, who matched Motzel with 20 points, sinking five 3-pointers.
Marist (3-3 ESCC) scored the first 9 points of the fourth quarter and Carmel (5-12, 0-6) could never recover, despite pulling within 63-58 with 1:36 left on one of three fourth-quarter 3s by Doug Meyer (11 points).
It was just the latest in a string of tough losses for Carmel, which has dropped three games in overtime.
"We've been fighting hard," Motzel said. "We just can't get over the hump and get a win."
"That's pretty much the story of our season," Corsairs coach Tim Bowen said. "(The players) are doing a good job, working really hard and getting closer and closer. But there's 30-40 seconds somewhere in every game, a stretch where we drop off and can't recover."
Carmel enjoyed an 18-9 lead in the first quarter, as the Corsairs moved the ball effectively and found open shooters. The lefty Hendricks knocked down his first three 3-point shots in the opening quarter, as the Corsairs had the athletic RedHawks scrambling.
"We were running our offense pretty well in the first half," Hendricks said. "We had some good screening action going on, but I think we got away from that in the second half a little bit. They started face-guarding a couple of us."
Williams and senior Paul Simmons led Marist with 18 points apiece. Center Nik Weishar added 11, and Geoff Godwin and reserve Tyler Oden each had nine.
In addition to his 20 points, Motzel grabbed 11 rebounds, blocked 2 shots and came up with 2 steals.
"He's on his way," Bowen said of the varsity rookie. "We've been on him all season long about doing those sort of things, and we continue to do that. I think he's got the potential to be a pretty good ballplayer."