A setback Tuesday proved to be just a bump in the road for Carmel, as it relied on defense to slow Warren Central's inside game.
"We did the things we needed to do to give ourselves a chance to win," Carmel coach Scott Heady said. "We limited transition, we kept them out of the lane and we limited their second shots."
The Class 4A fourth-ranked Greyhounds (16-2, 6-0 Metropolitan Interscholastic) snapped their three-game losing streak against the Warriors (10-8, 3-4), winning 54-47.
Warren Central deployed two big men in the post, 6-6 senior Devin Davis Jr. and 6-5 sophomore Jaraan Lands. The Greyhounds countered with their lone big man, 6-6 junior Zach McRoberts, and a host of speedy guards.
McRoberts said Carmel's success on defense was a result of its 2-3 zone and the quickness of the Greyhounds' backcourt.
Warren Central coach Greg Graham found fault with his frontcourt's lack of scoring.
"We have to have consistent post up and consistent guards that know how to pass the ball down where it needs to go," he said. "We have to recognize the advantage we do have."
Either way the Warriors' big men were limited in scoring; Lands had 12 points and Davis 11.
Momentum in the back-and-forth battle turned toward Carmel with 3 minutes to play.
After a 3-pointer by Warren Central's Devon Hawkins drew the Warriors within 41-40, Carmel held the ball from 4:09 to 2:52, when James Crowley hit a jumper. His basket started a decisive 10-0 run.
"They did what most good teams should do when you have ball handlers," Graham said." They made us play defense for a while and it got to our legs."
Heady credited the ball control to Michael Volovic. The senior guard scored a game-high 20 points, helping the Greyhounds rebound from Thursday's 52-49 loss to Hamilton Southeastern.
With the win, Carmel earned at least a tie for the MIC title. It is the first time Carmel has captured the league title in back-to-back years.
"That is a tremendous accomplishment for our guys," Heady said. "I could not be happier ... they have earned it."