Mt. Carmel’s Mike Keegan puts up shot over Poway’s Dalton Soffer.
The surprising turnaround season for the Mt. Carmel boys basketball team continued Friday night.
Kory Fox scored 17 points as the Sundevils improved to 5-1 in the Palomar League with a 74-62 victory over visiting Poway.
With the win, Mt. Carmel (14-11 overall) surpassed its league win total from the previous two seasons combined and kept a share of first place with four games left.
“Nobody’s expecting us to win,” said Fox, who was the MVP of a 17-win junior varsity team last year as a sophomore. “It’s made us (determined) to go out and beat everybody.”
Senior guard Deion Alston is the only returning starter from last year’s Sundevil squad that went 2-8 in league play and then graduated nine seniors. Alston is also the only senior among the current starting five, which features two sophomores and a pair of juniors.
“We’re not big, but the kids have hustle, and they’re coachable,” said Mt. Carmel coach Chris Vitous. “I didn’t know what it’d be like this year. The thing is, they just keep getting better and better. When you have young kids, that’s what happens sometimes.”
The Sundevils bounced back from their first league loss of the season Wednesday by hitting 7 of their first 12 shots to take a 16-11 lead in the first quarter.
After the Titans tied the score at 21, Mt. Carmel ripped off a 10-1 run and took a 33-25 lead at halftime.
The Sundevils led by double digits for almost the entire second half, stretching their advantage to as much as 16 points at the start of the fourth quarter.
Charlie Smith added 12 points for Mt. Carmel while Mike Keegan had a game-high 11 assists plus 11 points.
Dalton Soffer scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Poway (9-15, 2-4).