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Corsairs’ twin towers are winning combination

WAUCONDA Wednesday Jan 16 2013
Carmel's Cullen Barr (34) makes basket second quarter.| Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media

WAUCONDA Wednesday Jan 16 2013 Carmel's Cullen Barr (34) makes a basket in the second quarter.| Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 19, 2013 1:32PM

Carmel High School boys basketball coach Tim Bowen went with the twin-tower look Wednesday night at Wauconda.

And from every angle, pairing 6-9 Jack George with 6-6 Cullen Barr looked pretty darn good.

The pair combined for 31 points and 15 rebounds as the Corsairs (6-9) knocked off the Bulldogs (10-8) 50-40 in a nonconference game.

Bowen usually doesn’t play his big men together, as the East Suburban Catholic Conference is loaded with talented guards so Bowen has to go small.

But Wednesday, it worked perfectly, with George getting 16 points, 6 rebounds and 5 blocks, and Barr getting 15 points and nine boards.

“Most of the teams we play are pretty physical on the perimeter so we have to go with four guards to alleviate that issue,” Bowen said. “If we can get them (the two big men) to grab loose balls and give up fewer short rebounds and get them to be more efficient around the basket, we’d love to have them on the floor together.”

Against that duo, Wauconda couldn’t compete on the boards (a 23-6 disparity on the glass). But Carmel, short one guard, had trouble taking care of the ball, turning it over 21 times to nine for Wauconda.

“Twenty-one turnovers is just way too many,” Bowen said. “We face pressure defenses every night in our league. For us to turn the ball over that much makes us look kind of suspect.”

For his part, Barr was glad to see the Corsairs back in the win column.

“Unfortunately, we tend to take some plays off,” Barr said. “We have to go a full 32 minutes and keep the pedal to the medal. We have to keep our focus and buy into what coach is telling us and you’ll see some good things out there.”

Wauconda got 14 points from its best player, Austin Swenson. Dion Head added nine off the bench. But Wauconda shot 14-of-51 from the field, including 4-of-23 from downtown.

“Carmel’s a physical team. They’re big, they’re tall, and they got to us,” said Wauconda coach Scott Luetschwager. “They (George and Barr) are two really good players and they use their size well. They were a little big stronger than we were, so they were able to get position and kind of push us around.”

Despite the loss, Wauconda has hit double figures in January ­— not an insignificant accomplishment for the program.

“As a whole, our effort has been great. They’ve been working great as a team,” the coach added. “That’s one of the things we can hang our hat on. It doesn’t matter who has the shot or who has the big game. Everybody’s happy for their teammates.

“It’s nice to see that.”

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