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Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Michael O'Brien

Mount Carmel takes down North Lawndale in Chicago Elite Classic

Mount Carmel’s Deandre Craig (4) controls the ball past North Lawndale’s Jemarje Windfield (3). (Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times)

Senior DeAndre Craig has led Mount Carmel’s basketball revival in the last few years. The high-scoring guard elevated the Caravan’s profile and made them a fixture in the Super 25.

Craig, a Denver recruit, led Mount Carmel to the Pekin Holiday Tournament championship last season and was the MVP of the event.

Expectations are high this season, but the Caravan aren’t going to need Craig to score 20 points in every game.

‘‘A little pressure has definitely been taken off me,’’ Craig said. ‘‘Our whole team can score.’’

Junior Angelo Ciaravino emerged as a scoring threat last season and is now an even bigger threat. He scored 26 points to lead Mount Carmel to a 72-48 victory Saturday against North Lawndale in the Chicago Elite Classic at Credit Union 1 Arena.

‘‘We prepared really well for this game,’’ Ciaravino said. ‘‘We were focused in practice and paid attention to the little details that hurt us in the Oak Lawn loss.’’

The upset loss to Oak Lawn last week knocked the Caravan (5-1) out of the top 10.

‘‘People were questioning if we were really that good after the loss,’’ Craig said. ‘‘We aren’t worried about that. We’re focused on getting better.’’

Craig scored 20 points against the Phoenix, and Lee Marks, a 6-5 transfer from Homewood-Flossmoor, added 17 points and 13 rebounds. Marks is athletic and aggressive and adds another dimension to Mount Carmel’s attack.

‘‘We really had a chance to refocus this week and get back to basics, like taking care of the ball,’’ Caravan coach Phil Segroves said. ‘‘[North Lawndale] turned on the pressure late in the game, and we did a good job.’’

North Lawndale (1-2) cut Mount Carmel’s lead to nine after turning on the defensive pressure early in the fourth quarter, but the Caravan responded with a 20-3 run.

‘‘We played as a unit in this game,’’ Craig said. ‘‘We are still working on our teamwork. It’s not top-notch, but this is the best game we’ve played together. That was the biggest factor — relying on the man behind you.’’

Segroves said he expects to pick up a major addition next week. Senior Asher Tomaszewski is returning from a football injury.

‘‘Asher is a 6-5, 250-pound lineman committed to Kansas State,’’ Craig said. ‘‘He’ll bring what we need: another big body that can set screens and rebound.’’

Senior Jemarje Windfield led the Phoenix with 18 points, and junior Davarus Spann added 10.

Hyde Park beat U-High 58-34 in the first game of the day. Jurrell Baldwin, a 6-6 junior, had a breakout performance with 22 points. The Homewood-Flossmoor transfer has started the season well.

It was a rough afternoon for local teams. Vashon (St. Louis) beat Curie 59-36, and Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) beat St. Ignatius 77-59.

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