CHICAGO | Times No. 3 Mount Carmel would have had a hard time reading an eye chart on the wall at the optometrist's office.
The Caravan did not have their focus Friday night as a lackadaisical third quarter led to a 70-67 home loss to St. Viator.
"We weren't looking past them, but we definitely were looking to our next game," senior David Nichols said. "We were more focused on Tuesday (the Class 4A Oak Lawn Regional) than we were on this game. We admit it. We shouldn't have, but we were."
It was just the second time the Caravan (20-8) lost two in a row. The other was in December at the Pekin tournament.
"We made a lot of mistakes in that third quarter too and it cost us," Gabe Grant said. "Long shots, not rebounding, not getting back on defense."
The Caravan made it interesting as the Lions (21-5) missed a pair of front ends of 1-and-1s and Mount Carmel scored to close what was a seven-point gap with less than a minute left.
Nichols had 23 points, while Grant had a double-double with 20 points and 14 rebounds.
"We tried to stop (Ore) Arogundade but he got hot and also (Roosevelt) Smart," Nichols said. "When we did, they dished out and hit their shots. "
Mount Carmel led 32-24 at halftime, but the Lions opened the Lions opened the third quarter with a 15-6 run to take a 39-38 lead. There were eight third-quarter lead changes as the Caravan went nearly three minutes without scoring in the third quarter.
"We knew they are a good-shooting team and they didn't shoot that well in the first half," Caravan coach Mike Flaherty said. "We left their guys open, let them get into the transition game by taking bad shots."
Arogundade had 10 of his 23 points in the third quarter as the Lions outscored Mount Carmel 25-17 in the quarter. Smart had nine of his 11 points in the second half.
"We can't look past Tuesday or we're done," Flaherty said.