Carmel routs Lake Forest in battle of unbeatens
Two of the top girls basketball teams in Lake County met on Wednesday night for an early-season test in Lake Forest. Carmel and Lake Forest shared the distinction of not yet losing a game through the first two-plus weeks of the season.
Whereas the Corsairs were expected to be among the elite teams -- thanks to two Division I recruits in Jordan Wood (Michigan State) and Grace Sullivan (Bucknell) -- the Scouts have been among the surprise teams with six victories. Sullivan racked up 18 points and 8 rebounds, Wood added 12 points and 4 blocks and sophomore guard Anna Hartman scored 11 points to lead the Corsairs to a 69-41 rout over the Scouts.
Junior guard Bella Ranallo led the Scouts with 15 points and senior guard Tricia Gray added 14.
"Our defensive intensity was there all game and everyone had great assists," Sullivan said. "We had good inside and outside action. Overall, it was a great team game."
The Corsairs (6-0) overwhelmed the Scouts (6-1) with their height advantage and received contributions from numerous players in their rotation. Carmel scored the first 12 points of the game and led 17-2 just five minutes into the game.
"I was wondering how we would come out after not playing for 10 days," Carmel coach Ben Berg said. "I was extremely pleased with what I saw. Our energy was great and I loved the way we ran the floor and defended."
The Corsairs built a 43-21 halftime lead, even without a big effort from Wood, who entered the game averaging 12.5 points, 5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2 steals and shooting 46 percent from the field. The 6-foot-5 Wood, one of the top players in the country for her class, did not have a field goal in the first half and was held to 3 points.
The Corsairs' balanced scoring was evident throughout the game, but clearly showed in the final 30 seconds of the second quarter. Junior guard Kyla Smith scored 4 points and junior Abbey Sullivan added a field goal at the buzzer.
Wood put her stamp on the game in the first 3-plus minutes of the third quarter, scoring on back-to-back layups and swishing a 3-pointer from the wing.
"Grace played a great game down low and they tried to triple team her, so it was great to see I have a team that supports me," Wood said. "It feels good to win with everyone having a good game."