2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 12/6/2013 11:48 PM

Carmel tops Cary-Grove to continue hot start

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They will have to dust off the record books in Mundelein if the Carmel Catholic boys basketball team keeps winning like it did at Cary-Grove Friday night, 64-31.

It was the sixth straight win to open the season for deep, experienced Carmel, which returns the bulk of the players responsible for last year's Class 3A sectional final appearance. The Trojans slipped to 2-3.

"Someone told me the last time they were 5-0 was 1985," Carmel coach Tim Bowen said. "I don't know about 6-0, but we're happy about it."

The Corsairs jumped to a 19-6 advantage through one period and extended their lead throughout. Balanced Carmel was powered by key contributions from 6-foot-10 senior John George (14 points, 10 rebounds), 6-6 senior Michael Barr (11 points, 7 rebounds), sophomore guard Christopher Duff (12 points), senior guard Billy Kirby (6 assists, 2 steals) and reserve guard Nickai Poyser (12 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists).

The easy victory came in stark contrast to last year's meeting, which Cary-Grove won 43-42 in Mundelein.

"We definitely wanted some payback after that game last season," said Kirby, whose 3-point attempt to win the 2012 affair at the buzzer didn't fall. "This year we just wanted to get off to an early start and carry that momentum throughout the entire game and not let up."

Cary-Grove successfully limited the offensive production of George, who had scored 28 and 24 points, respectively, in the two game films the Trojans studied during the week. What they didn't see on film was the 3-point shot of Christopher Duff, who canned both of his 3-point attempts in the first quarter.

"We didn't think he could do that," Cary-Grove coach Ralph Schuetzle said. "That got them going a little bit. Our goal was to slow down George and we did."

Cary-Grove's issue was offense. The Trojans generated only 34 field-goal attempts, sinking 9 (26.5 percent). Of their 31 points, 10 were scored at the free-throw line. Junior Jason Gregoire led Cary-Grove with 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting. The Trojans were outrebounded 36-14.

"Mentally, we're really behind right now in our offensive execution," Schuetzle said. "We've really stressed that the mental is to the physical as four is to one. And we're not even close right now. We couldn't execute our offense. I couldn't even recognize our offense. We have to learn. We have to get to the film room and we have to see what we're not doing because we're a better shooting team than this."

The Corsairs led 29-16 at the half and 43-23 after three quarters. They will attempt to stay undefeated in a nonconference meeting against Elgin on Sunday at noon.

"Last year I thought we'd be in this position, but we stumbled a little bit and actually lost to Cary-Grove so this feels nice," George said. "These are good teams, but we should be getting these wins. They are preparing us for the conference, which is going to be big for us. We have another game on Sunday, then we can hopefully get our first conference win next Friday against St. Viator."

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