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Entering Wednesday afternoo,n head coach Frank Moore and the Northern boys basketball team had lost its four of its five games by an average of eight points.

Mount Carmel 61, Northern 36

Northern 6 11 7 12Mount Caramel 20 15 13 13Northern: Workcuff 17, Thomas 10, Gross 6, Wilkerson 2, Whittington 1Mount Carmel: Todd 19, Rhodes 14, Groom 12, Smith 4, Cunningham 4, Webb 4, Fitch 2, Erebor 2Free throws: Northern 18-24 (Workcuff 9-10, Gross 6-8); Mount Carmel 9-14 (Groom 4-5, Smith 2-2)Three-point goals: Mount Carmel 3 (Groom 2, Rhodes 1)

However, Our Lady of Mount Carmel of Baltimore County handed the Patriots their biggest defeat of the season thus far, 61-36, in the quarterfinal round of the Waldorf Holiday Hoops Classic eight-team tournament Wednesday at North Point High School.

Moore mentioned that though it was a rough test, he mentioned he still thought the team has yet to find its identity.

“Mount Carmel was just a better team than we were today and they were very athletic and skilled,” he said. The Patriots faced Lackey in the consolation round on Thursday afternoon at Westlake High School, too late for inclusion in this edition. “We are still learning and we are trying to find ourselves. We’ve loss some close games that we should have won, but today this was the first game that we got blown out this season. I hope that we can get it together.”

In the first quarter, Mount Carmel used it full-court pressure early and turned numerous Northern turnovers into fast break points as it exploded out to a 20-6 first quarter lead that was capped by a dunk in transition by 6-foot-7 senior swingman Rashard Todd in his first game back from a foot injury.

Todd showed his versatility inside and out and finished with a game-high 19 points.

“I felt great being back in the lineup,” Todd said. “I was a little tired, but this was a very good tournament. Northern showed a lot of toughness. We just played a very defensive game.”

Mount Carmel senior guards Johnny Rhodes and Corey Groom contributed with 14 and 12 points, respectively, for the Cougars and head coach Tom Rose.

“Coming off of Christmas break we were a little rusty,” Rose said. “We did a great job of defending today and we really wanted to work on emphasizing that. It was important for us to get the first win under our belt in the tournament. There are some really good teams and the focus is to take one game at a time.”

Mount Carmel (4-7 overall) advanced to Thursday evening’s semifinal round where it faced North Point in a game that finished too late for inclusion in this edition at Westlake High School.

The Patriots (1-5), who were on a four-game losing skid entering Thursday’s consolation game, trailed 35-17 at halftime and 48-24 at the end of three.

Rose noted that having Todd back in the lineup was vital for the Cougars.

“He makes us go,” Rose added. “Rashard is a big kid that is very athletic and has really developed offensively. He definitely makes a difference out there on the floor.”

Northern was led by junior forward D. J. Workcuff with 17 points, while Sammy Thomas added 10 in the losing effort.

“We didn’t concentrate today, we had too many turnovers out of the press,” Workcuff said. “Against good teams like that you can’t turn the ball over. We just have to keep working hard and get better. [Mount Carmel] was a very tough team and were very talented.”

Moore, the former frontrunner of the Calvert girls team, who led it to back-to back state titles the last two seasons said that the Northern boys program is young.

“We are going through some growing pains,” Moore said. “We are just not sure how to translate things from practice to the game setting.”

Northern was 18 for 24 (75 percent) from the foul line and Mount Carmel made 9 of 14 (64 percent) from the free throw line.

ajmason@somdnews.com