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Impressive Deandre Craig Scores 33, Mount Carmel Beats St. Rita

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Centrita has many future college basketball players. The Mustangs have the top three juniors in the state, all three already in college. Morez Johnson (Illinois), James Brown (North Carolina), and Nojus Indrusaitis (Iowa) had high levels of recruitment, with the nation’s best college programs luring them in for years.

Melvin Bell, a St. Rita sophomore, is also in the same boat and is widely considered one of the top three players in his class.

On the other side of the court at Mount Carmel on Tuesday was DeAndre Craig. Caravan senior was one of the best guardsmen in the area during his four years, but his recruitment did not go well. Craig signed with Denver in November.

“[Denver] Mount Carmel coach Phil Segroves said. “From day one I thought he was a Big Ten guard. I thought he could play at Loyola and he got overlooked there. .

“Deandre’s fine. He’s super excited for Denver and they’ve got some great stuff.”

Craig dominated the floor against St. Lita, scoring 33 points to lead Caravan to an 84-76 victory.

Craig attacked the rim relentlessly, hitting the Mustangs’ stout post defense of Johnson (6-9) and Brown (6-10). Craig, 6-1, absorbed contact and scored on numerous occasions.

He also contributed 4 steals, 3 assists, and 5 rebounds on 9-of-13 shooting.

“They have power five players on their team and that always gives you a little boost,” Craig said. “But I just got out there and played like a Tuesday night with other Catholic League teams.”

It wasn’t. Mount Carmel’s gym was packed with fans. There were large student sections from both schools and the games were played live on television.

“It was certainly the biggest crowd I’ve seen here,” said Caravan senior Anthony Ciaravino. “It was insane, it was just crazy. Words can’t describe how I felt when I stepped out in front of that crowd. I could feel the energy. It was great to play.”

Chalavino scored 13 points and his brother Angelo Chalavino, a junior, added 14 points. Lee Marks had 14 points and four rebounds for Mount Carmel.

“Our team chemistry has improved and we showed today that we can compete with the best,” said Anthony Ciaravino.

Mount Carmel (20-2, 8-0 Catholic League Blue) were led by eight men at half-time and Cent Rita (13-9, 6-1) did not pose much of a threat in the second half. His 3-point shot from Bell with 3:42 left pulled the Mustangs within 5 points of him, but it was close to the best.

Johnson continued to show why he was the best prospect in the state regardless of class: 27 points and 12 rebounds. But his size and strength, as well as his ability to block shots at the post, also made Craig’s attack in the basket all the more impressive.

Indrusaitis finished with 16 points and Brown added 10 points and 8 rebounds for St. Rita. Bell is 16 points.

The Mustangs opened the season in the national rankings, battling teams across the country to a demanding schedule. However, St. Rita’s results against local teams have yet to live up to the preseason hype. The Mustangs lost to Joliet West, Simeon, Young and Mount Carmel. They beat the Rice brothers in December. The only game St. Rita has played against a Super 25 team is against his No. 25 Loyola on February 10th.

“It’s very frustrating, but we’re not depressed,” said St. Rita manager Roshawn Russell. “To be honest, we’re a little mad. If you look at the game-by-game schedule, no one has a schedule like ours. That being said, we’re definitely We have to start pulling out games like this. We are better than anyone in the state and can finish strong in the playoffs.”

See Saint Rita’s final moments on Mount Carmel.


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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