The defensive end of the court is where the Carmel boys basketball team expects to excel this season. Getting stops, forcing turnovers and turning them into points is what coach Zack Ryan expects to see from his Corsairs this season.
In Carmel's season opening win vs. Rockford Boylan on Monday, Carmel got just that limiting the Titans to just 48 points in a comfortable 17-point win.
And the Corsairs seemed to match that defensive level through two quarters in their second game at Grant's tournament on Tuesday for two quarters -- before simply running out of gas.
That, and North Lawndale proved it can score.
The Phoenix blitzed Carmel to start the second half with a 14-3 run that put the Corsairs into a hole they couldn't escape. The result was the first setback of the season as Carmel fell 72-40 to North Lawndale.
Carmel drops to 1-1 in the tournament and will continue tournament play Friday against Waukegan at 5:30 p.m. North Lawndale improved to 2-0 in the tournament.
"I think we got a little bit tired, it looked like, and we weren't getting stops," Ryan said. "It was really our focus yesterday as well, to get defensive stops. And then it doesn't really help when you're not making shots."
Down 26-21 at the break, Carmel went ice cold from the field to start the third quarter while the Phoenix simply couldn't miss. In a quarter that saw North Lawndale outscore Carmel 28-9, the Phoenix shot over 60 percent from the floor while the Corsairs were only able to hit on 2 of 14 shots from the field.
"If you don't defend well, then you aren't hitting your shots, its makes things kind of tough," Ryan said. "We have a lot of work to do and we need to learn how to compete a little harder when things don't go right for us."
Carmel did start out well as it traded buckets with the Phoenix over the first two quarters. Junior Damon Williams-Gray paced the offense early scoring all 7 of his points in the first half. Carmel also garnered 7 points from freshman Kamari Wilson and junior Jalen Snell.
The Corsairs closed the first half on a 7-2 run that pulled them within 5 at the break.
North Lawndale and Carmel traded buckets before the big run form the Phoenix blew the game open. Junior Demetrius Douglas led all scorers with 25 points, including 8 in the decisive third quarter.
Senior David Forrest added 18 and 9 boards and senior London Stamps chipped in with 11 to pace the Phoenix.