SOUTH HOLLAND | If Seton Academy coach Brandon Thomas was unhappy after Friday night's win over Mount Carmel, it's only because he's looking ahead.
The Sting were able to hold on late against the Caravan with a 71-66 win over their Chicago Catholic League foe. The win captured the CCL crown for the Sting and improved their record to 9-0 in conference play. Seton's Kamal Shasi led all scorers with 19 points.
"We're lucky just to get out of here with the win," Thomas said. "We didn't finish. If we're going to make some noise in the playoffs, we've got to get to the point where we finish people off."
Seton was able to hold on down the stretch against a furious Mount Carmel comeback and some key free throw misses down the stretch helped keep the Caravan in the game. Trey Lee scored 16 for Seton Academy, while Mark Weems and J.R. Tolliver added 10 points each for the Sting.
"I just didn't like our sense of urgency tonight," Thomas said. "Every time it looked like we would pull away from them, we took our foot off the gas. We couldn't make our free throws, we didn't get back on defense. Not to take any thing away from them because they capitalized on everything we wouldn't do."
Mount Carmel's leading scorer on the season, Alex Austin, got into some foul trouble early and was forced to watch from the sidelines as the Sting built an early lead.
"Losing Alex Austin to foul trouble didn't help," Caravan coach Mike Flaherty said. "He's our leading scorer and rebounder so without him for well over a quarter, that makes it tough."
After leading by three at the half, Seton Academy came out fast and furious in the third quarter, and despite extending their lead to seven after three quarters, the Caravan was able to ride out the storm and be in position for a fourth quarter push. Billy Patterson led the Caravan with 17 points and brought down five rebounds. Austin and teammate, Christian Searles both finished the game with 12 points for Mount Carmel.
"I didn't think we rebounded the ball very well," Flaherty said. "They got a bunch of second shots. We just didn't rebound at key times."