Friday, Dec. 10, 2010
By Patrick McGavin
The Mount Carmel starting five had a different look at the start Friday night against Seton in South Holland.
The most glaring difference was Tracy Abrams, the Caravans do-it-all guard was on the bench. So was Wyn Bradley, the teams normal starting center.
Tracy missed practice because of an illness Monday, and we have a team rule that if you miss practice, you have to sit the first quarter, Mount Carmel coach Mike Flaherty said. Wyn was late and thats why he was out at the start.
Despite the absence of two starters, Mount Carmel did not skip a beat. Junior guard Alex Austin scored 16 points as the team received scoring contributions from 11 different players as the Caravan rolled to the 74-57 victory.
Junior guard Malcolm Hill-Bey started quickly, scoring seven first-quarter points in propelling the Caravan to a 22-15 first quarter lead. Once Abrams did enter, it did not take him long to make his presence felt.
On the opening possession of the second quarter, Abrams nailed a long three-pointer. Seconds later, his steal and beautiful feed to Bradley jump started the Caravans 10-0 run as Mount Carmel (4-2, 2-0 Catholic East) seized a 40-28 lead at the break.
I knew once I got in there, I had to bring energy and contribute to the team, Abrams said. At the same time, Abrams was comfortable the team would have his back. Coach put a lot of emphasis on other guys having to step up because they knew I missed practice earlier this week, and I wasnt going to be there at the start.
Austin helped turn the game into a rout by sparking a third quarter closing 18-5 run. The Caravan was especially good at the start of quarters. They held the Sting scoreless the opening three minutes of the first, second and fourth quarters. Austin scored eight of his game-high total in the fourth quarter.
We got excellent contributions from different guys at the start, and then once Tracy and Wyn got in there, they just added to it, Flaherty said. We got a little sloppy at times at the end, but otherwise, we played well.
Hill-Bey scored all nine of his points in the first half. Foul trouble limited his play in the second half. Bradley recovered from his slow start to add eight points and six rebounds.
Kamal Sashi scored 11 points to lead the Sting (3-3, 0-2). Sophomore Mark Weems added 10 points.