Pssst. Here’s a secret: Lawrence Central basketball could be good this year. Really good.
Kyle Guy, the Bears’ senior standout guard, knows it. He also doesn’t want to hear it.
“I was here as a freshman when we beat Warren (in the sectional) and everyone was screaming, ‘We want Tech!’ ” Guy said. “And we lost by (19). LC has a past for that (overconfidence), but we’re not going to let it happen.”
But it is nice to be 2-0, Lawrence Central’s record after a 75-51 home win over Class 4A third-ranked Carmel on Friday night. Guy, the Virginia recruit and IndyStar Mr. Basketball candidate, had a game-high 27 points and senior backcourt mate Mehki Biffle added 19.
In Guy and Biffle, the Bears have a pair of 6-3 guards who can do a little bit of everything. That includes finding open teammates, whether it’s each other or somebody else. Guy twice found junior guard K.J. Davis in the corner for open 3-pointers after the defense collapsed on drives to the basket.
“We’re hard to stop because when everyone is focused on me and Mehki, we have other guys ready to step up,” Guy said. “This is a family, and I have faith in anybody I pass the ball to that they are going to make the right play. We just have that camaraderie and I think it’s going to take us far.”
Tyrelle Walker, another 6-3 senior, added 12 points for Lawrence Central in a game that was a bit ragged due to 51 combined fouls. Carmel was in the double bonus before the end of the first quarter but didn’t fully capitalize on the Bears’ 16 first-half fouls.
The Greyhounds (1-1, 0-1 Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference) were 12-for-21 from the free-throw line in the first half and trailed 34-28.
“We got our butts kicked,” said Carmel coach Scott Heady, whose teams have won four consecutive MIC titles. “That’s the bottom line. We’ve got to come back (Saturday) and get better. We’ve got a long way to go. but I think we can get there.”
Senior Preston Flamion led Carmel with 18 points and four rebounds. Sterling Brown added 11 points for the Greyhounds.
Lawrence Central pulled away with a 9-0 run to start the second half as Guy and Biffle scored all nine points. Carmel rallied to get back within eight, the last time at 52-44 on a drive by Brown with 6:15 left.
But the Bears answered on an athletic putback and foul by Walker, and Davis added a big 3-pointer from the corner on an assist from Guy.
“I think our confidence level is really high,” Biffle said. “We have a lot of seniors and this is the last time we’re going to play together. We’re going into every game and practice with a winning mindset. I think we’re going to really turn it over from last year.”
Oh yeah, last year. The Bears started last season 1-9 against a brutally tough schedule before rallying to finish 11-13. That rough start is both remembered and forgotten, Guy said.
“We want to put it out of our minds but not too far,” he said. “We have to remember what can happen.”
What can happen this year? Bears’ fans had to be wondering after Friday night.
Call Star reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.
LAWRENCE CENTRAL 75, CARMEL 51
Carmel 13 15 9 14 – 51
Law. Cent 17 17 16 22 – 75
Carmel (1-1, 0-1) – Merriweather 0 0-0 0, Oliphant 1 2-4 5, Flamion 7 1-2 18, Brown 3 5-6 11, Richardson 1 1-2 3, Falender 0 3-6, Jenkins 1 0-0 2, Baron 1 4-6 6, Beery 0 3-4 3.Totals: 14 19-30 51.
Lawrence Central (2-0, 1-0) – Bell 1 1-2 3, Walker 5 2-3 12, Griffin 0 2-2 2, Guy 10 6-6 27, Resner 0 0-0 0, Biffle 6 7-8 19, Easter 0 0-0 0, Ross 0 0-0 0, Gillard 2 2-2 6, Davis 2 0-0 6. Totals: 26 20-23 75.
3-point goals: Carmel 4 (Flamion 3, Oliphant), Lawrence Central 3 (Davis 2, Guy).