Boys Basketball: Jalen Loving gets Hillcrest off and running
Updated: November 21, 2011 8:16PM
For 20 minutes on Monday, Mount Carmel’s 1-3-1 zone gave No. 20 Hillcrest all it could handle.
Then the Hawks’ Jalen Loving hit a three-pointer, adding a pair of free-throws 25 seconds later. That brought the Hawks a five-point lead, and that quickly, Hillcrest was off and running.
The running only stopped at the final buzzer of the opening game of the Chicago Heights Classic in Bloom’s M’Cann Gym. Hillcrest’s 69-54 victory over the Caravan in the season opener for both teams was more workmanlike than impressive.
“I didn’t like the slow start,” Hawks coach Don Houston said. “We came out a little nonchalant, but you’ve got to give them some credit. To see the 1-3-1 right away, even though I know that’s what they do, kind of caught us off guard.”
The Caravan needed to use the zone to slow the Hawks down. With sophomore Christian Searles and senior Sean Prendergast at guard trying to replace, among others, Malcolm Hill-Bey, who left for Curie, the slower the tempo, the better for Mount Carmel. And that worked – witness Hillcrest’s 13-12 lead after a quarter and a 28-all deadlock at the half – until Loving’s bomb and subsequent free-throws. Then Hillcrest’s Virgil Fleming converted a turnover and a 25-6 run was on in earnest.
“We must have had eight or nine turnovers at the end of the quarter they turned into six or seven baskets,” Caravan coach Mike Flaherty said.
The run continued into early in the third. It was 59-40 before the Hawks cooled down. Loving (16 points), Jovan Mooring (14 points) and Jayon’e Troutman (11 points, five rebounds) led the Hawks. Billy Patterson (19 points, six rebounds) and Alex Austin (17 points, seven rebounds) paced Mount Carmel.