Carmel denies Mundelein
The "This is our town" cheer by the rowdy Carmel student section came late in Monday's cross-town rivalry boys basketball game between the host Corsairs and Mundelein.
Both teams were fighting to the end for those bragging rights.
Carmel pulled away for a 61-48 victory. But the game was tied early in the fourth quarter before the Corsairs hit 11-of-14 free throws to ice it.
"This was awesome, a great crowd, especially in the student section," said Carmel guard Evan Myers, who scored 13 points and went 4-of-4 from the line in the fourth quarter. "We knew this was going to be a big battle, especially since (Mundelein) is much improved.
"It's so much fun to play (nearby teams). We play Libertyville tomorrow."
Normally, Carmel, which improves to 11-5 on the season, is facing teams from the East Suburban Catholic Conference, with teams spread all over the suburbs, from Joliet to Woodstock.
Establishing local rivalries is important to head coach Zack Ryan.
"It's a great thing for the city (of Mundelein) when both teams (Mundelein and Carmel) are playing great in basketball," Ryan said. "It just hasn't happened much lately. But they're playing well and we're playing well and a lot of these guys know each other. A lot of fans on both sides. It's great for the county when this rivalry is like this and we stressed to our guys, just enjoy it and have fun."
Carmel was up 40-24 early in the third quarter, but Mundelein stormed back with a 14-0 run to end the quarter. That sent the game into the fourth quarter with Carmel clinging to a 40-38 lead.
During Mundelein's run, Jeff Bikus had 2 big baskets and James Willman drained 2 clutch 3-pointers.
The Mustangs, who drop to 9-5 on the season, then tied the game (42-42) with 6:43 left in the fourth quarter on a drive to the basket by Conor Enright.
"It was a tough ball game," Mundelein coach Matt Badgley. "We battled back and tied it but it didn't work out our way tonight.
"We were in foul trouble the whole game, and they weren't and that made a huge difference. They were able to play a lot differently than we were able to play."
Carmel had 14 more attempts at the free throw line than Mundelein and scored 11 more points there. The Corsairs were 19-of-28 on free throws while Mundelein was 8-of-14.
Each team got balanced scoring and double-figures from four players each.
DaMone Williams-Gray topped Carmel with 15 points while freshman Kimahri Wilson added 14 points. Myers had his 13 points on three 3-pointers and Johnny Roeser had 11 points.
For Mundelein, Willman (three 3-pointers), Tommy Marcotte and Bikus each had 11 points while 6-foot-8 center Andrew Silva scored 10 points despite dealing with early foul trouble.