BOYS BASKETBALL

Caravan on guard

2014-01-31T23:00:00Z 2014-02-01T01:40:08Z Caravan on guardTim Cronin Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
January 31, 2014 11:00 pm  • 

CHICAGO | Mount Carmel coach Mike Flaherty knows the difference between one guard who can handle the ball and two. Caravan ran their winning streak t

Seven-straight victories.

The third-ranked Caravan ran their winning streak to seven with a 65-58 victory over St. Joseph on Friday night. The outcome, the first loss for the Chargers (16-4, 8-1) in Catholic League play this season, brings Mount Carmel (16-6, 8-2) closer to the top of the league's North bracket.

Much of the reason for the run is the presence of Christian Searles in the lineup. The ace cornerback wasn't immediately available to Flaherty after the football season because of injury and college visits. But since he's back, the Caravan is on the move. Now, David Nichols has company in the backcourt, and can no longer be double-teamed.

"It makes it a lot easier," Nichols said after his 20-point, six-rebound performance. "When I get tired, I have somebody to pick up on the ball-handling and the offense."

Searles contributed 19 points, like Nichols drilling a pair of 3-pointers in the course of the game, and was nearly as much a defensive force on the court as he is on the football field. But Nichols runs the show.

"I thought he let the game come to him tonight," Flaherty said. "And having Christian makes everyone better."

A Nichols 3-pointer 2:03 into the third quarter gave the Caravan the lead for good. Threes by Searles and Gabe Grant in the next two minutes moved the advantage to 40-35. The Chargers pulled to within three on three occasions, but couldn't get closer. Glynn Watson's 22 points led St. Joseph, with Joffrey Brown adding 20 points.

Nichols pointed to an intangible that also arrived with Searles' presence.

"We're much more of a team," Nichols said. "Him and other football players have brought their success from state championships. They're kind of teaching us to play as a team. Everybody's buying in, playing their roles, executing."

The state tournament is a month away. Mount Carmel, as always, is lined up to advance to the same Class 4A sectional as Simeon and other worthies.

"It's the toughest sectional, probably, in Illinois, and we'll probably have a tough regional," Nichols. "We always see a high-ranked team."

More wins like Friday's, and it'll be like looking in a ranking mirror.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which local prep soccer semistate qualifier will most likely reach state?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News

Latest Local Offers

Featured Businesses