Kapaun Mount Carmel’s 63-55 boys basketball victory Friday night began with a 15-0 lead after one quarter.
However, the Crusaders weren’t facing just anyone. The opponent Friday night was Bishop Carroll, Kapaun’s archrival.
The Golden Eagles’ offense came out of its coma and used six three-pointers in scoring 27 points in the second period and pulling to within 34-27 at halftime. Leading the charge was junior guard Patrick Carney, who hit five of Carroll’s 11 three-pointers and finished with 20 points.
But Kapaun never lost the lead, keeping Carroll at a safe distance and hammering out a victory over the visiting Golden Eagles and taking an unblemished 5-0 record into Tuesday’s home battle against East.
Crusaders coach John Cherne III said team chemistry and experience – Kapaun has nine seniors – were crucial to his team being able to absorb Carroll’s second-quarter barrage.
“This group actually plays really, really well together, and they have since they were freshmen, sophomores and juniors,” he said. “They play well together, they’re not afraid to share the ball, and they did a good job of doing that (Friday night).
Cherne said he liked the play during the opening-period shutout of Carroll, but the Golden Eagles’ 27-point answer in the second quarter wasn’t a surprise.
But even when Carroll tried to make a comeback, Kapaun was able to score 19 points of its own for a 34-27 halftime lead.
In the second half, Kapaun did just enough so that it could withstand a Carroll fourth-quarter charge, with the lead never getting any closer in the final quarter than the final margin of eight points.
Carroll’s first-quarter offensive drought made a difference, coach Lonnie Lollar said.
“You’ve got to give Kapaun a lot of credit,” he said. “They came out ready to play. They executed really well and knocked down really good looks.”
Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles were out of sync, he said.
“It kind of snowballed,” Lollar said. “They kind of fed off their shooting the ball early, and before you know it, the quarter’s over and we’ve got a goose-egg over there.”
The comeback was good to see, he said.
“One thing I liked about our guys is that they never gave up, got it within seven at half,” Lollar said. “We knew the first three minutes of the third quarter needed to be ours, but we didn’t score the first four minutes of the third quarter. You can’t allow a team like Kapaun to have extended long runs like that, and we did a couple of times.”
All in all, Cherne was pleased that his players were able to shake off the rust of Christmas break and remain undefeated, which he said was nice but had its drawbacks.
“That’s a bull’s-eye on our back that we really don’t like,” he said. “Tuesday’s going to be tough with East coming in. We’ll just have to get ready for Tuesday.”
Bishop Carroll – Wilbert 3, Carney 20, C. Evans 10, Allen 6, Hornback 4, Theis 6, Lopez 6, Thome 0, Iseman 0, Demel 0, Goodman 0, L. Evans 0, Kennedy 0. Totals 19 (11) 6-7 55.
Kapaun Mount Carmel – Patton 18, Hickerson 4, O’Connor 9, Monty 5, Cherne 15, Lickteig 5, Hope 2, Ocker 4, Singer 1, Meitzner 0, Oatsdean 0. Totals 21 (5) 16-23 63.