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Joliet Central's Markel Ellis (1) drives to the around Mount Carmel's Malik Garrett (12) at the Martin Luther King Jr's day of hoops held at Joliet Central High School Joliet, Illinois and Central lost in double overtime 72-68 on Monday January 21, 2013.
The roster sheet lists Mount Carmel junior guard Christian Searles at 5-foot-11.
That’s a stretch, and then some.
“We let him pick what height he wanted to be on the roster, and he picked 5-11,” Caravan coach Mike Flaherty said Monday night after Searles scored 31 points to destroy Joliet Central 72-68 in two overtimes in the last of seven games at the Joliet Central MLK Day of Hoops.
Flaherty said Searles is more like 5-8, but if he keeps playing like he did Monday, he may want to add another foot or so when new rosters are printed.
Searles made three of Mount Carmel’s 13 three-pointers. He nailed 7-of-8 free throws in the second overtime, the last two the clinchers after he grabbed an offensive rebound that was batted around.
“That was my career-high, 31 points,” Searles noted with a smile.
“We keep telling him how good he is,” Flaherty said. “He’s been inconsistent. I think he can be a big-time player.”
Joliet Central coach Jeff Corcoran said his Steelmen (10-8) prepared for the three-point attack of the Caravan (8-11), but to little avail.
“That was the No. 1 focus of our game plan, that all five of their guys can hit threes,” he said. “We can’t come off a big win like we did (52-51 over Bolingbrook last Friday) and then come out here and relax the way we did.”
Senior Markel Ellis came off the Central bench to hit three threes and finish with 13 points, none in the first half. Jalen Heath had 15, Jalen Jones 13 and Mike Mercer 12. Jones’ two free throws with 3 seconds left in the first overtime forced the second extra session after Ellis’ three-pointer with 0:27 left were the final points of regulation.
“That was Markel’s best game,” Corcoran said of Ellis. “He played under control and smart, really gave us a spark.”
Malik Garrett chipped in with 13 points for Mount Carmel.