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Carmel guard Greg Edkins is probably his team’s toughest player. He’s the man always assigned to defend the opponent’s top scorer, and the guy that Corsairs head coach Tim Bowen wants with the ball in his hand at the end of the game. On Wednesday night against Lake Park in the opening round of the Wheeling Hardwood Classic, Edkins showed just how tough he is.
Despite missing part of the fourth quarter after taking a shot to the groin, Edkins shook off the pain and led Carmel to a 42-36 victory, scoring three huge points down the stretch to seal the victory. Edkins finished with 13 points, four rebounds and three steals, and said afterwards that it was the fourth quarter that he and his teammates showed just how tough they are.
“It was kind of crazy there for a while at the end, but we take pride in our defense and ability to get stops,” Edkins said. “It was just a great team win.”
Carmel (5-4), who was playing its first game in nearly two weeks, never trailed in the contest, but also never was able to pull away from a tough Lane Park squad. The Corsairs locked down defensively, allowing just four points in the second quarter and no three-pointers the entire game. Edkins was aided on the offensive end by forward Cullen Barr, who had 12 points and six rebounds.
Lake Park (7-6) rallied in the fourth, thanks in large part to some missed free throws by Carmel, cutting the lead to as low as three with a minute remaining. However the Lancers couldn’t come through with the points they needed down the stretch, as Barr finally delivered from the charity stripe, sinking three free throws in the final seconds to ice the game.
“We haven’t played for a while, so it was a little sloppy, but for them to hang in there and stay with it, I was glad,” Bowen said. “Being off for so long, for us to pull that one out was pretty remarkable.”