Carmel worked together to slow down the Hamilton Southeastern Royals on Thursday night 48-31. Photos by Scott Mumphrey.
Carmel worked together to slow down the Hamilton Southeastern Royals on Thursday night 48-31. Photos by Scott Mumphrey.
CARMEL - The last time fourth-ranked Class 4A Carmel faced rival Hamilton Southeastern, it ended with a sectional championship loss.

On Thursday night, the Greyhounds (17-2) scored some revenge.

Hyped as a potential Sectional 8 preview, the Carmel defense locked down the visiting Royals, holding them to eight point or less through three quarters, and senior Ryan Cline hit six 3-pointers as the Greyhounds cruised to a 48-31 victory.

Falling to HSE 50-42 last March, the Greyhounds sent a message from the opening tip with only three weeks left in the regular season.

Taking a 10-8 lead after a nip-and-tuck first quarter, Carmel ramped up their intensity and turned their advantage into a 22-13 margin by halftime.

Keegan Culp pushed the first-half lead to nine points with a buzzer-beating jumper from 15-feet out, but Cline hurt the Royals all night from beyond the arc.

The Purdue signee finished the game 6 of 12 from deep and 7 of 16 from the field to score a game-high 22 points. Working the glass, the McDonald's All-American nominee hauled in nine rebounds with eight on the defensive end.

The Greyhounds' lead swelled to 34-19 by the end of the third quarter as the defense clamped down to limit HSE to just 28 percent shooting and 11 points over 16 minutes through the second and third quarters.

Culp added seven points for Carmel and six rebounds. Preston Flamion followed with seven points and five rebounds. The Greyhounds shot 41 percent from the field and were 8 of 14 from 3-point range while converting 10 of 18 free-throw attempts.

The Royals (7-13) were held to just one free throw, but they racked up 18 fouls, including a flagrant in the second half as frustrations mounted.

The only Royal unfazed by Carmel's pressure was Zach Gunn, who had a team-high 15 points and five rebounds. Gunn was 3-for-5 from 3-point range and 6 of 12 shooting overall with five blocks.

His inside presence helped keep the margin close through the first quarter before the Greyhounds marched to consecutive 12-point frames and a 14-point effort in the final eight minutes.

Tyler Janney had eight points and three assists for HSE, and Chris ford chipped in four points.

Carmel hosts Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference foe Warren Central (9-8, 2-3) next Friday to finish up their conference schedule. The Greyhounds are tied with Ben Davis (14-5, 5-1) atop the standings and are seeking a share of the crown.

HSE will look to bounce back on Tuesday when the Royals host Pike (12-6).