Foul trouble kept Carmel's 6-foot-10 center Jack George out of most of the first half of Monday's nonconference game at Lakes.
He was bound and determined that it wouldn't keep him from being a part of history.
George kept himself on the floor and out of floor trouble after halftime and played a key role in helping the Corsairs pull out a 45-41 win over Lakes.
The win is the 20th of the season for Carmel, which is in the midst of its best season in decades. In fact, the dry spell at Carmel has been so long that no one really knows for sure how long it's been since the Corsairs last won 20 games in a season.
George and his teammates do know, however, that at 20-6, they are now only 4 wins away from tying the highest all-time win total of 24 wins set in the early 1980s.
"It's good we finally got our 20th win, and you can celebrate something like this," said George, who scored a team-high 12 points. "It's been awhile since something like this has happened (at Carmel). We want to end up with the best record in school history. That's kind of in the back of our minds."
George did his best during halftime to put his first-half frustrations out of his mind.
He was whistled for two charges in the first quarter, both times while going to the basket. He did not see the floor again until the beginning of the third quarter.
"There was definitely some anger about that. I feel like I've made harder moves than that (and not been called for charges)," George said. "I was mad, because I want to be out there every second of the game. But you just have to trust your teammates and know that they will make the right plays while you're sitting. When you get back in, you have to contribute what you can."
George scored 8 of his 12 points after the break. The Corsairs also got a shot in the arm from senior forward Michael Barr, who was hit with early foul trouble as well.
After sitting for most of a scoreless first half, Barr scored all 5 of his points in the fourth quarter as Carmel stretched a 1-point lead to as many as 7 points.
"In the third quarter, our defensive pressure starting getting better and that also helped," Carmel coach Tim Bowen said. "We were playing a little harder, we were denying passes, we got our hands in the passing lanes and that was a big difference."
Bowen said that seniors Billy Kirby and Nickai Poyser and sophomore Chris Duff Jr. were also difference makers, holding down the fort nicely in the first half as the Corsairs played on without George and Barr.
Duff scored 8 of his 11 points in the first half.
Still, Lakes held a 23-19 lead at the break, thanks in part to a combined 12 points out of Mike Tomasiewicz and Tramone Hudson.
"We had a lot of excitement and enthusiasm early on," said Tramone, who tied George for game-high scoring honors with 12 points. "But it just died down in the second half and we lost control."
Lakes, which drops to 11-13, was playing without two starters, forwards Ethan Sage and TJ Edwards. Sage is nursing an ankle injury while Edwards is shifting his focus back to football, which he will be playing next fall at Wisconsin. Edwards, a quarterback for the Eagles, officially signed with Wisconsin last week.
"It's tough being down two (starters), but guys are stepping up and filling minutes," Lakes coach Chris Snyder said. "But you can't dwell on that. We've got to keep getting guys experience.
"At the end, there were just a couple of possessions that got away and against an experienced team like that, that's the 4-point spread there. All in all, I thought we competed and hung in there with a pretty darn good team. We just have to work on handling situations at the end of the game a little better."