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Notre Dame clamps down on Carmel
By Larry Weindruch | Daily Herald Correspondent
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Published: 12/27/2012 11:39 PM

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Carmel stayed with conference rival Notre Dame into the third quarter of their Wheeling Hardwood Classic second-round game Thursday, but a third-quarter blitz put the Corsairs into a hole from which they couldn’t recover.

Carmel (5-5) saw a 26-all tie turn into a 41-28 deficit when the Dons (11-1) went to a zone press, scoring 8 points in a 23-second span in the third. The Corsairs’ 63-44 loss drops them into a consolation game against Deerfield at 5:30 p.m. today, while Notre Dame advances to a semifinal game against Naperville Central at 8:45.

Carmel committed 30 turnovers, 17 in the decisive second half.

“It’s been a problem for two years,” said Carmel coach Tim Bowen. “Our guard play has got to get better, especially in our league.

“The teaching moment is, ‘Are we going to get better or see the same stuff (against Deerfield) that we saw tonight?’”

“We sped them up,” Notre Dame coach Tom Les said. “We got a few deflections and some easy baskets that created energy for us.”

Notre Dame’s Matt Mooney led all scorers with 22 points and rebounders with 6, and he dished out 4 assists.

“Mooney’s good,” Bowen said. “We have our best defender guarding him, and he’s still getting his shots.”

“We talk about letting the game come to me,” said Mooney, who scored 12 points in the third quarter. “In the third quarter, it came to me.”

“We’ve got pretty good balance,” Les said. “Any of of five guys can lead us, but Matt’s been the most consistent.”

Cullen Barr led the Corsairs with 15 points and 4 rebounds, and Nickai Poyser added 12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals.

The Corsairs stayed in the game through the first half, despite 13 turnovers, 9 in the first quarter. And with Barr on the bench with his second foul at the 5:05 mark, Carmel fought back to within 23-22 at intermission.