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Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Mike Clark

Defensive whiz Richard Zoller, high-flying Angelo Ciaravino help Mount Carmel take down Hyde Park

Mount Carmel’s Angelo Ciaravino (33) hits a jumper from in the lane against Hyde Park. (Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times)

Angelo Ciaravino and Richard Zoller both have a way of getting their Mount Carmel teammates and the crowd fired up.

With Ciaravino, a 6-6 junior who runs the floor like a sprinter and leaps like a high jumper, it’s the dunks.

Zoller, a senior guard, does his work at the other end by drawing charges.

Together, they provided the spark the No. 14 Caravan needed to knock off No. 18 Hyde Park 70-51 Wednesday in the Class 3A Glenbard South Sectional semifinals.

Ciaravino had a double-double of 24 points and 11 rebounds as the Caravan (27-6) advanced to play No. 1 Simeon in Friday’s title game.

Zoller drew four charges in the first half alone as the Caravan led by as many as 17 before holding a 34-19 halftime edge.

“We work on that a lot in practice,” Zoller said. “A charge comes from teamwork, it’s not a one-man thing.”

Absorbing contact isn’t as hard as it may seem, he added.

“It’s just a lot of adrenaline,” Zoller said. “You don’t really feel it that much. ... A little bit of pain’s worth it.”

Others feel that adrenaline too.

“Man, that gives us so much momentum,” Ciaravino said. “We fed off that in the first half. I thought one was enough, but one after the other ...”

With Hyde Park’s style of play, Mount Carmel coach Phil Segroves expected to lean on Zoller, who leads the team with around 30 charges drawn this season.

“They’re real big in the pick-and-roll game,” Segroves said. “And we knew once they got downhill they like to go and finish. So we were practicing on showing early and Richard did just that for us.”

Ciaravino and Denver recruit DeAndre Craig took care of business on the other end of the court. Craig hit 10 of 11 free throws and finished with 22 points. He and Ciaravino keyed a 10-0 run after Hyde Park (24-7) pulled within 54-49 with 3:01 remaining.

Ciaravino had two of his three second-half dunks in that run, including one on which he took an inbound pass from his brother Anthony and outraced the Thunderbirds defense down the court.

“That’s our famous out-of-bounds play right there,” Angelo Ciaravino said. “We try to get it at least once a game. You see that opening — my brother’s just smart enough to see it right away. We make eye contact and ... I know I’m getting it.”

“When there’s no one back, no one’s guarding the basket — he just goes,” Segroves said. 

Hyde Park climbed back into the game by getting hot from the perimeter. Jurrell Baldwin and Camron Williford each hit three three-pointers. Baldwin finished with 19 points, Germaine Benson added 13 and Williford scored nine.

Now the Caravan gets a chance to play the No. 1 team in the area.

“We love it,” Angelo Ciaravino said. “Like coach Segroves said, we’re going into the circus. It’s going to be one of the best games we’re going to play all year.

“They’re going to have their fans, we’re going to have ours. We’re going to be as ready as we can. Should be a fun one.”

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