By the end of yesterday's game at Friends, four John Carroll players were bleeding from the head, and another had a knee injury.
But the Quakers found a different way to hurt the Patriots even more: by making their foul shots.
Friends outscored the Patriots 23-6 from the foul line en route to a 67-62 Maryland Scholastic Association Armstrong Conference win.
"I think a big difference was the wide desparity at the free-throw line," said John Carroll coach Pat Goles of the B League Division II game.
But another was the loss of his top scorer and rebounder.
After scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the first half, Patriots forward Myron Cole aggravated an injury to his left knee, forcing him to leave the game.
From then on, the larger Friends team dominated on the boards, out-rebounding John Carroll 73-39 for the game.
"On paper, [Cole's] loss had a big effect," said Friends coach Randy Cooper. "I think our bigger players wore them down. They really were able to take advantage on the boards."
The Quakers got numerous second- and third-shot opportunities, and had four players with more than 15 rebounds, led by Spencer Deering with 21.
They did more damage at the free-throw line, hitting nine of 14 to keep pace in the first half, then six of their last seven in the final 1:08 to pull away.
After a tough conference loss to Severn earlier this week, Friends (12-6, 9-3) all but assured itself a playoff spot.
The Quakers stand alone in first place in Division II, and John Carroll (11-7, 8-4) is second.
The top three teams in both divisions will advance to the playoffs.
The Quakers broke out to a 7-2 lead, but, led by Cole, John Carroll fought back to take a slim lead that it held for most of the half.
With the forward out of the lineup, however, Friends forged ahead, using fourth-quarter runs of 11-2 and 9-0 to put the game away.
"I think we just played with a lot of heart in the second half," said Quakers forward John Miles, who led his team with 19 points and pulled down 15 rebounds. "We just wanted it more."