Dominance on the glass. Power on the defensive end.
That was just a portion of forward Kevin Kalu’s 19-point and 19-rebound game as he helped Mount Carmel defeat Calvert Hall, 79-62, on Friday night.
The senior has been a menace for opposing defenses and made his presence felt with a number of dunks. Kalu used his athletic ability to sky over players for rebounds and hustled for loose balls.
“I just wanted to come into the game with energy, like how they came into our gym with energy,” Kalu said. “I told myself that I was going to dunk everything and basically play into my strengths.”
It’s the same type of intensity that he brings to workouts — hitting the speed ladder during the offseason, going to the gym to shoot and working on his leaping ability.
Mount Carmel (9-0) also got a game-high 25-point performance from junior point guard Deon Perry and 20 points from senior guard Toby Nnadozie. Nnadozie had a thunderous slam in the first quarter over Calvert Hall’s Jonah Biggers to the elation of the crowd.
“The plan was just to go at their neck and go straightforward,” Nnadozie said. “That’s our message — you feel me — we can’t let them think that they’re better than us, we can’t let them think that it’s easy. We have to show them how we do it at Mount Carmel.”
Cougars coach Trevor Quinn knew his team could put its foot on the gas pedal and pull away. For the undefeated Mount Carmel squad, it was all about playing a complete game. Despite the youth on the squad, it never let up and didn’t let the game get within 10 points after the first quarter.
“I think that with having Deon [Perry] — he’s started for three years — he understands what it’s all about now,” Quinn said. “He doesn’t go up and down like he did in the past. Having Andrew [Dixon] as the secondary ballhandler was kind of hard to trap us and get us out of character. Toby can also handle the ball and he makes the right decisions and finishes.”
Mount Carmel took a 16-13 lead in the first quarter with Nnadozie’s eight points. In the second quarter, Kalu jumped his total to nine points and had a buzzer-beating dunk for a 37-27 lead.
The Cougars outpaced the Cardinals 62-51 in the third quarter. Calvert Hall’s Mike Williams and Karim Harris had 21 and 22 points, respectively, but the Cardinals couldn’t push past Mount Carmel.
“We tried to speed teams up and for some reason tonight, we just wanted to walk the ball up and tried to play them in halfcourt,” Calvert Hall coach Jason Hasson said. “They’re way too good to play them in halfcourt. We’re obviously a little undersized against these guys, so the goal is to speed them up and tire their big guys out. We couldn’t get any traps going, we couldn’t get any tempo going — we got a little run and they would get a dunk or a 3-pointer to kill the momentum.”
MC (9-0): Perry 25, Nnadozie 20, K. Kalu 19, Dixon 11, M. Kalu 4, Chinnia 2
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CHC (5-3): Harris 22, M. Williams 21, Foxwell 7, I. Williams 5, Downs 3, Biggers 2, Eyring 2