The Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School, Essex, Cougars accepted an invitation to the 38th Annual Mercer Invitational Tournament at the Hill School in Pottstown, Pa., Dec. 14-16 and placed third in a field of eight teams to improve their overall record to 8-1.
The MIAA B conference basketball team, coached by Tom Rose, is chock-full of experience, enthusiasm and a nose for victory. With five senior starters, all Division I and II caliber players, the Cougars look to up-end defending champs St. Mary’s as the season rolls on.
The Cougars are led by senior starters, Troy Franklin, Dwayne Wheeler, Rummell King, Stanford McNair and Marcanthony Franks, yet Rose will confidently rotate eight players in and out to keep fresh legs on the floor at all times.
The Cougars strongly depend on sixth-man Bilal Small for an enhanced perimeter game, though four out of the five starters can drill the three for a balanced attack.
During the Mercer Tourney, the Cougars won the first round over Western Reserve Academy, Ohio, 64-44, lost in the second round to the Hill School in overtime, 81-78, and rebounded with a 72-63 win over Calvert Hall College High School, Towson, to place third in this well-established tourney.
With their win over the Cardinals, all five starters scored in double figures while McNair tallied a double-double, snaring a dozen boards in addition to his 16 points.
The Cougars are a confident team who are willing to play tough defense and know the importance of sticking together as a team.