Regardless of the situation, the goal for the Carmel boys basketball team this season is to never lose focus. That includes games in which the Corsairs are leading by a significant amount, or are trailing.
So when Carmel raced out to an 18-0 lead in the first quarter agains Streamwood during the second annual Lake Zurich Martin Luther King Classic, the focus remained the same -- squarely on the opponent.
"That's really been what we have talked about all season with our senior leadership is to maintain our focus," Carmel coach Tim Bowen said. "No matter the situation, whether we are fortunate enough to play in a championship game setting or against a conference opponent, we are concentrating on always staying focused."
Carmel didn't lose focus despite rolling out to an 18-1 lead after one quarter. Instead, the Corsairs continued to roll leading 40-5 at halftime and 48-7 after three quarters en route to a 58-22 beating of the Sabres. The win continues the best start for Carmel basketball since 1984 as the Corsairs improved to 15-3. It was the sixth straight victory for Carmel.
The Corsairs also improved to 3-0 in the tournament and will continue play at 11:30 a.m. Monday against Lincoln-Way Central.
Streamwood (1-17, 0-3 in tournament play) will face Harlem at 1 pm. Monday.
"Last year, early in the season we had some issues with staying focused throughout the entire game," Bowen said. "When things really started clicking for us we were really doing a better job paying attention and not losing sight of our jobs and our responsibilities."
Carmel came out firing against Streamwood early, with junior Lee Bowen striking quickly with 7 first-quarter points as the lead grew and grew. When Bowen wasn't scoring, senior Billy Kirby was dishing it out to big men Jack George and Michael Barr.
George scored 6 first-half points and contributed 7 boards and 4 blocks in not quite two full quarters of action. Bowen ended up leading all scorers for Carmel with 16 points to go with 8 rebounds.
Streamwood started to find its stroke in the fourth quarter as junior Jon Sweeney provided a nice spark off the bench with a pair of long 3 pointers. His 8 points led the Sabres as they just weren't able to slow down the inside-outside game of the Corsairs.