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One scan of the roster told the story of the Vernon Hills-Carmel boys basketball game Wednesday night.
Carmel has three players 6-foot-6 or taller and Vernon Hills has none. It was that length that propelled the Corsairs to a dominating 70-44 victory.
“They have a really nice team. They pounded it inside all night and we had no answer,” Vernon Hills coach Matt McCarty said.
When 6-foot-9 Corsairs junior forward Jack George threw down a dunk to make it 8-2 early in the game, the play foreshadowed the rest of the one-sided contest. George scored six of his 12 points in the first quarter and Carmel led 20-11.
Carmel (3-1) doubled down in the second quarter. Speedy junior guard Billy Kirby pushed the pace in transition, leading to easy baskets inside. When Kirby fed senior guard Greg Edkins for a layup, it capped a 16-4 second quarter run for the Corsairs, who took a 40-21 lead into the break and were never threatened in the second half.
“We’re a very athletic team, a very long team, a very aggressive team,” senior forward Cullen Barr said, who led Carmel with 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting. “We’ll be able to do some great things down the line.”
Vernon Hills (2-3) was led by seniors TJ Flis and Dylan McNamara, each of whom scored nine points. Sophomore guard Robby Nardini also scored nine points for the Cougars, who were missing two starters, seniors Trenton Fulton and Nate Rathod due to injuries.
Junior guard Nickai Poyser added 15 points for the Corsairs.