The Chargers (2-5) raced out to a 27-3 first quarter advantage and never trailed in an 82-25 win that came without sophomore leading scorer Chandler White (illness).
White said he plans to play in the remaining three games of the Holiday Hoops Classic.
“We saw a lot of good things today,” remarked Carroll Head Coach Marty Beasley. “It was good to have a game like this today. We told the guys to be aggressive and they were. We made some plays and hopefully that gives them some confidence as we continue on.”
“We wanted to get out into them and pressure them and make them turn the ball over. It got us some easy lay-ups and a nice lead and we were able to play from there. We got to work on some other things.”
Sophomore Jeremy Kalonji was one of four Chargers in double-figures, leading all scorers with 20 points. Kalonji, who was a perfect 7-of-7 from the field, scored 13 in the first half and also pulled down six rebounds.
“Jeremy is very athletic,” complimented Coach Beasley. “He has a lot of ability and potential. If he can get himself to play hard every play he can do great things for us this year and in the future. He has a tendency to lose focus, and it keeps him from making the plays he should make on a consistent basis. Hopefully he can mature a little bit and understand his importance to our team and our future.”
Senior Mason Miller added 13 points, junior Logan Hille 12 (on 4-of-6 three point shooting) and junior Keller Gutierrez also reached double figures with 11.
Senior Tony Orr added nine points and a team high seven rebounds.
“We have only had one game with three guys in double digits and we need to have that every game. (White) is going to be there 99 percent of the time. We need two or three guys to step up on a nightly basis and (Miller, Orr, Gutierrez, Hille, and freshman Kyle Mallers) are the ones who have to do it.”
Churubusco (0-7) got 14 points from junior Brent Simmons, 12 of which came in the third quarter, which was Busco’s most productive quarter of the game (14 points).
Carroll held the Eagles to just three points in the first quarter, six in the second, and just two in the fourth.
“One of our biggest issues is that we turn the ball over so easily. One of the things we struggle with the most is our ability to pass and our understanding of the game of basketball,” Busco Head Coach Mike McBride said. “We have a lot of kids that haven’t played a lot of basketball and we are struggling. We are young, and that is part of the process, but our skill level is not where it needs to be.”
“Carroll is a very good team. You look at their record and see 1-5, but look at who they have played. I understand (Carroll) very well. I know who they are playing and what they are trying to do. We are very similar in a lot of things that we try to do, both offensively and defensively, they are just a lot better at it than we are.”
The Eagles, playing without a senior on their roster, had six turnovers and just one shot attempt before their first basket of the game, a Simmons bucket at the 3:46 mark of the first quarter with Carroll holding a 10-0 lead.
For the game, the Eagles took just 25 shots, making nine (36 percent), while turning the ball over 34 times.
“It is going to continue to be a process this whole year. We do a lot of good things but we don’t sustain them for very long,” added McBride. “I like our future. I think we are going to get back to the right direction. We just have some tough learning here that we have to get through.”
Other Carroll scorers were sophomore Alex Hammond with seven, and Mallers and senior Adam Freiburger each scored five.
T.J. Campbell and Luke Lillmars had three each for Busco, Garrett Simmons and Corey Sarrazin each had two, and Blake Gross chipped in with one.
“I love the idea of this tournament and I think it will be great for our kids to go through. We are struggling against better teams right now,” said McBride.
Churubusco will host Woodlan tonight (1/2) and host Fremont in Northeast Corner Conference action on Friday,