For about 7 minutes, it was just like old times at Lawrence North High School.
Former NBA No. 1 draft pick Greg Oden was in the building, and the Wildcats were dominating like they did when Oden led them to three consecutive state titles from 2004-06.
A 3-point barrage by Carmel's Ryan Cline brought the crowd back into the present. The sophomore made six 3-pointers and scored 20 points to help the defending state champion Greyhounds, Class 4A's top-ranked team, defeat Lawrence North 48-43 on Friday night in a Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference game.
Cline entered the game as Carmel's number four scorer at just over eight points per game.
"I just shoot the ball," he said. "Michael Volovic and James Crowley and James Volovic and (Zach) McRoberts, they all get me open. They create for me. When they create open shots, I just focus and shoot the ball."
James Crowley scored 16 points for Carmel (14-1, 5-0 MIC), which made 9-of-22 3-pointers. Michael Volovic scored just four points, 13 below his average. The senior guard, who will walk on at Butler, had five assists.
Purdue recruit Basil Smotherman scored 18 points and John McCloud had nine points and five assists for the Wildcats (12-4, 3-2).
Lawrence North trapped out of a 2-3 zone defense early to disrupt Carmel's offense. The Wildcats got out on fast breaks early and often to take a 12-3 lead.
Carmel figured out the zone and responded with an 18-2 run that included three 3-pointers by Cline.
"Early, we weren't attacking it; we weren't getting it inside," Carmel coach Scott Heady said. "When we did get it inside, we got the drive and kick, that's when we got some good looks from the perimeter. I'll give our guys credit. We made some adjustments. We talked about it and they went out and I thought they did a great job with it."
The Greyhounds led 28-22 at halftime. Cline scored 15 points and made five 3-pointers before the break.
Carmel led 32-26 in the third quarter before Smotherman was fouled on a deep jumper. He converted the three-point play to cut the Greyhounds' lead to 32-29.
A putback dunk by McRoberts bumped Carmel's lead back to 37-29 midway through the quarter, and the Greyhounds led 42-33 at the end of the period.
The Wildcats got as close as 46-43 in the fourth quarter, but Crowley made two free throws in the closing seconds to finish the scoring.
Lawrence North's size was a concern. Smotherman and McCloud are 6-7 and Dan Scofield, the starting center, is 6-8. The Wildcats outrebounded the Greyhounds 29-21.
"We knew it was going to be a challenge, but we felt if we could limit their transition points and get them in the halfcourt and not give them second shots, it was going to be to our advantage," Heady said.
Heady said it was good for his team to overcome the early deficit against a quality opponent.
"Our margin for error is not real big," he said. "We've got to come out and play well every night, no matter who we're playing, and our guys realize that."