CHICAGO | The numbers might have sent most coaches into a tirade against the officials.
In a 60-57, Catholic League South loss Friday to De La Salle, No. 2 Mount Carmel was outscored 29-4 at the free-throw line. In its own gym.
"I was telling the kids, we tried to take eight charges," Caravan coach Mike Flaherty said. "I think we got called for a block on every one.
"But De La Salle is pretty quick. We weren't moving our feet. It's tough to take a charge when you're not getting in position."
Besides, Flaherty wasn't as vexed by the fact that the Meteors (3-4, 1-2) went 29-of-44 from the line as he was over the Caravan (6-2, 2-1) making just four of its 17 free throws.
"We were 13-of-15 Tuesday at Providence," Flaherty said. "The last time we were here, we were 8-of-23 against (Brother) Rice. We can't make free throws in our own gym. … Usually it's the other way around."
Flaherty endured the sight of his leading scorer, David Nichols, missing 4-of-5 free throw attempts — three straight after being fouled on a shot from beyond the arc — in the first 69 seconds of the fourth quarter, when making all five would have left the Caravan and Meteors tied at 43.
And Nichols, who finished with a game-high 19 points, was far from alone. None of the six Mount Carmel players who got to the line made more than half of their attempts.
"Concentration? Focus?" Flaherty said when asked why his team struggled at the line. "I think I could make some money if I knew the answer."
The Caravan led 22-15 with 3:43 to play in the second quarter, but the Meteors closed out the half with a 10-2 run, George Wilborn knocking down a 3-pointer and two free throws in the run.
De La Salle stayed in front the rest of the way, making 21-of-31 free throws in the second half. Brandon Hutton led the Meteors with 14 points, while Wilborn and Karl Harris had 12 each.
Gabe Grant had 13 points and Caleb Williams 10 for Mount Carmel.