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Boys Basketball: Mount Carmel breezes past Leo

Updated: February 7, 2013 6:34AM



Better late than never. At least that was the case for Mount Carmel and point guard Christian Searles.

Searles was benched for the entire first quarter for being late to Friday night’s game. That didn’t stop the junior guard from making his presence felt in leading the Caravan to a 60-42 victory over host Leo in a Catholic League North contest.

“My ride was late,’’ Searles said. “It was not something that I usually do.’’

Searles and Nick Johnson also were late in joining the basketball team as both were members of the Caravan’s Class 8A state championship football team. In their coach’s eyes, both players have brought an intangible that the basketball Caravan sorely were lacking.

“Christian is a (defensive) back on the football team,’’ Mount Carmel coach Mike Flaherty said. “Both him and Nick have brought that physicalness and toughness that we didn’t have before. We were a little soft before.’’

In only three quarters of play, Searles scored 21 points and gave the Leo guards fits with his strong moves to the hoop.

“I like going to the hole; that is my game,’’ Searles said. “I just have to be smart about when to finish and when to pull up and shoot or dish.’’

Gabriel Grant drained a three-pointer for Mount Carmel with 2:38 left in the second quarter for a 19-16 lead. That proved to be the basket that put the Caravan (7-8, 3-2) ahead for good.

Leo (1-11, 0-5) has struggled to score points this year after Russell Woods and Sean Moore Jr. transferred to Simeon after starting on varsity for the Lions for three seasons.

“We lost our two best players. It’s tough for us to score points,’’ Leo coach Noah Cannon said. “It’s one of those years. Everybody goes through it.’’

Latrell Giles led the Lions with nine points. Kerron Braggs pulled down 12 rebounds.



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