The team that has trouble finishing isn’t done yet.
Carmel let a second-half lead slip away Friday night in a second consecutive game at the Wildcat Hardwood Classic in a 68-64 double-overtime loss to Deerfield, the tournament’s Cinderella darling so far.
The Corsairs (6-7) will face Fremd today at 12:15 p.m. for seventh place in this 16-team tournament.
But with a 43-36 lead late in the third quarter of a tight defensive battle, Carmel wilted under Deerfield’s intensified, full-court defensive pressure and half-court zone designed to make things difficult for 6-foot-9 twin towers Cullen Barr (14 points) and Jack George (10).
Deerfield seized the momentum on a huge, near-desperation 3-pointer to beat the third-quarter horn from Alexander Glantz on a nice feed from Eric Porter to reduce the lead to 43-39. Despite Greg Edkins’ hustling defensive effort on Porter, the Warrior (8-5) senior guard fed Glantz for another hoop, scored on a nice feed from Andrew Ferdman and fed Greg Dikopf for a another basket as regulation ended 57-57.
And speaking of not closing, Carmel had a key missed free throw and yet another turnover in the period, one of 22 all told, with 20 seconds left.
In the second overtime, Deerfield’s Ferdman opened the scoring on a backdoor cut while Jack Gurney was scoring all of his points, 6, on perfect free throw shooting. Meanwhile, Carmel was continuing to commit turnovers and George fouled out.
“We should know better than that,” said Corsairs coach Tim Bowen of the miscues.
The Corsairs seemed to have the game in hand before Glantz’ third quarter-ending trey. They’d been holding sharpshooter Porter in check thanks to Edkins, who had 14 points of his own on perfect shooting from the field that included a pair of 3-pointers. And they’d erased a 10-point, first-half deficit and forged ahead as Cullen Barr and George maintained their scoring despite Deerfield’s collapsing zone. The 6-9 towers simply kicked the ball out to Edkins and Nickai Poyser, who had 4 3-pointers and 28 points between them, with Poyser particularly showing some spectacular athletic moves around the basket.
At the other end, George and Barr combined for 5 blocked shots and forced the Warriors into tougher outside looks by influencing Deerfield forwards’ prospective inside options. That’s something Deerfield can expect to keep seeing.
“We have been challenged by anyone with a big man,” coach Dan McKendrick said of his club, which has no starter over 6-feet-4, and no pure scoring threat beyond Porter.
“He’s kind of the heart and soul of our team,” said his coach.
And the heart started pumping faster in the fourth quarter and into overtime.
But Bowen still couldn’t shake the haunting image of his team’s mistakes down the stretch. How to get past it?
“You get over it,” he stated matter-of-factly. “You grow. You move on.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.