Dipsy, the green Teletubby from the children's TV show, made himself at home in the stands at Carmel on Friday night.
It was the funniest costume seen in a student section that was filled with many strange and silly get-ups.
Senior Night, with arch-rival St. Viator on tap, was supposed to be all about fun and laughs for the kids at Carmel.
Well, almost all the kids. The basketball team didn't get the memo about the fun and laughs. Until it was almost too late.
The first half was anything but enjoyable for Carmel.
The Corsairs scored just 12 first-half points, hit just 4-of-19 first-half shots (21 percent) and took a 6-point deficit that felt more like 26 into the locker room at halftime.
"We were mad that we were losing like that," Carmel senior forward Dan Mooney said. "I think we came out almost too hyped up. We just needed to relax and play like we had nothing to lose."
The Corsairs certainly had a victory to gain. And they got it.
Carmel outscored St. Viator by 7 points in a pivotal third quarter, and that ultimately paved the way for a 44-41 East Suburban Catholic Conference victory.
The Corsairs, who got a team-high 14 points from Mooney and double-figures from both Brandon Motzel (11 points) and Tim Hendricks (10 points), are still just 10-15 on the season, but they seem to be peaking. They've beaten quality teams such as Notre Dame, Libertyville and now St. Viator (12-10) all within the last two weeks.
"I think getting off to that good start in the third quarter, where we got a couple of quick buckets, gave us confidence that we could take this game," first-year Carmel coach Tim Bowen said. "If you want to peak, this is the time of year to do it and I think we are peaking.
"Our guys are starting to figure it out. They're starting to figure out what they need to do. More than that, they're realizing that when we got all of those early losses, that because they didn't bail out and because they stuck it out, they're better for it now."
The Corsairs had to stick it out against St. Viator while Motzel was forced to spend long stints on the bench. Motzel, Carmel's leading scorer, got into foul trouble early. He sat for nearly the entire third quarter.
Interestingly, that's when Carmel made its big run.
"Motzel has been playing really well the second half of the season," St. Viator coach Joe Majkowski said. "When he's not on the floor, it could've really helped us. But we didn't take advantage of it.
"Shooting woes and turnovers have been the story of our season lately and that was what happened here tonight. We didn't shoot well and we turned the ball over at critical times."
St. Viator had 8 second-half turnovers and hit just 9-of-29 second half shots for a meager 31 percent success rate.
Chris Myjak and D.J. Morris got hot for St. Viator in the fourth quarter. Myjak scored 7 of his game-high 15 points and Morris scored 7 of his 9 points in the final period.
But the Lions couldn't keep pace with Carmel, which pounded the ball inside with greater success in the second half. Hendricks, Mooney and Michael Fitzgibbons all had multiple interior buckets to help the Corsairs close out in the fourth quarter strong.
"We just want to win," Mooney said. "We're at the point now where we just want to finish on a high note. We're at double-digit wins now and we feel like we can beat anybody."
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