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Boys Basketball: David Nichols marks Mount Carmel comeback with 26-point performance

EvanstNojel Eastem brings ball down court against Mount Carmel Monday Night Lane Tech Thanksgiving Tourament .  Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Times

Evanston Nojel Eastem brings the ball down court against Mount Carmel Monday Night in the Lane Tech Thanksgiving Tourament . Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 27, 2013 6:36AM



Last winter was difficult for Mount Carmel’s David Nichols.

He scored 28 points in the Caravan’s opening game against Hillcrest last season. Two games later he tore the MCL in his left leg and was finished for the season.

Nichols is on a mission to make up for lost time this season, and he began the quest in terrific fashion Monday at the Lane Thanksgiving Tournament, scoring 26 points to help Mount Carmel defeat Evanston 57-39.

“It was really difficult watching last year and not being able to play,” Nichols said. “I think we could have had a pretty good team if I was playing.”

The Caravan still isn’t whole. Christian Searles, last season’s leading scorer, is one of four players still with the football team.

“With Nichols and Searles I think we have one of the best guard tandems in the area,” Mount Carmel coach Mike Flaherty said. “We haven’t had a practice with the entire team yet, so it’s probably going to take until after Christmas for us to really get going.”

The Caravan was in control for most of the game. Evanston was able to trim the lead to four points twice, including early in the fourth quarter. Nichols responded with a layup and a three to end the threat.

Gabe Grant came off the bench to score 12 points and grab six rebounds and Montana Byrd added 10 points and seven boards for the Caravan.

The game marked the debut of highly-regarded Evanston freshman Nojel Eastern, who already has an offer from Northwestern.

Eastern checked into the game midway through the first quarter and did not disappoint, finishing with 16 points and four rebounds. He shot 6-for-13 from the field and 3-for-7 from three point range.

“He looked really good, especially for a freshman,” Nichols said. “He can shoot.”

Junior Elijah Henry added eight points for Evanston.

“Like the song says, we started from the bottom,” Wildkits coach Mike Ellis said. “I think we shot poorly. A lot of that was rushed offense. We did a poor job moving the basketball.”



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