Horten leads St. Joseph’s defensive effort against Mount Carmel
Westchester, IL - Friday, February 1, 2013: Mount Carmel's Devante Charles (32) drives to the basket on St. Joe's AJ Patty (32). | Steve Johnston~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 12, 2013 12:49PM
WESTCHESTER — Mount Carmel coach Mike Flaherty and St. Joseph coach Gene Pingatore have more than 1,600 victories between them.
And the way their teams have been up and down in 2012-13, these legends probably shared about that many headaches this year.
But St. Joe’s managed to make things a little better for Pingatore with a 57-36 Catholic League North victory Friday night in Westchester.
Mount Carmel (9-12, 4-5) came into the game with a two-game winning streak. Guard Christian Searles led the surge as he scored 62 points combined to go with eight steals against Gordon Tech and Joliet Central.
But with St. Joe’s Loren Horten hounding him most of the night, Searles was held to seven points and shot 1-for-9 from the floor. Nine first-half turnovers helped put the Caravan into a 29-12 hole with less than two minutes left in the first half and it never got closer than eight.
Pingatore said that he put in a lineup designed to generate offense but its defense is what pleased the coach.
“We knew (Searles) was a good scorer and Loren did an outstanding job on him,” Pingatore said.
Senior A.J. Patty scored 16 points and added 10 rebounds and five blocked shots.
“I just wanted to win,” Patty said. “We keep switching up the lineup because people keep getting hurt and other things but once we get together as a team, we can still make a run for state.”
Sophomore Jordan Ash, playing in his second game back from a back injury that kept him out since late December, added 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting for St. Joseph (13-10, 6-3) .
“We turned it over and gave them easy points,” Flaherty said. “They might have had 14 points off of our mistakes.
Devante Charles (11 points, 10 rebounds) and Malik Garrett (10 points) tried to make up the difference but the Caravan fell short.
The Caravan is in danger of its second straight losing season after five straight campaigns with 19 or more victories.