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Crane controlled the opening tip and scored the first basket against Young. The highlights pretty much ended there.
The top-ranked Dolphins promptly reeled off first half runs of 19-0 and 16-3 as Young had all nine players on its roster score in thrashing the host Cougars 93-47 in Red-West play on Monday night.
Junior superstars Jahlil Okafor and Paul White set the dominant tone once again. The 6-11 Okafor posted another double-double with 22 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, two blocked shots and a steal. White also impressed with his versatility and balance, drilling two three-pointers in scoring 19 points and registering nine rebounds, four steals, three assists and three blocked shots.
On the strengths of those two bursts, the Dolphins (14-1, 5-0) ran out to a commanding 45-13 lead at the break. “We wanted to redeem ourselves after our last conference game against North Lawndale last week,” White said. “North Lawndale’s a good team, and so is Crane, but we wanted to come out with a lot of energy and be aggressive and really go after them,” he said.
Okafor and White scored 14 points apiece in the first half. Okafor scored on a variety of strong post moves and a stepback jumper. White scored in transition and in the halfcourt game with his improved perimeter shot.
Crane (3-9, 2-4) struggled against Young’s size and failed to take advantage of its free throw opportunities. The Cougars made just 5 of 17 from the line in the first half. Senior forward Courtney Thomas had 13 points and six rebounds. Senior Devin Johns scored nine of his 11 points in the fourth quarter. Star sophomore guard Issaiah Hayes was limited to eight points and was scoreless in the second half.
Young junior Miles Reynolds scored 17 points and added seven assists and four steals. He reiterated what White said about the importance of a strong start. “Our coaches always preach with us about not letting the other team get confidence at the beginning of games,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds’ putback extended the Dolphins’ lead to 25-7 at the end of the first quarter. He drilled a three-pointer from the left baseline to punctuate the second quarter dominance. He is quiet and steady.
“When you play with guys like Jahlil and Paul, it creates a lot of opportunities because defensively teams put so much of [their defensive] effort on them with the double-teams,” Reynolds said. “Especially with me being the point guard, they make it look a lot easier than it actually is.”
Young coach Tyrone Slaughter pulled all his starters save Reynolds with 1:15 remaining in the third quarter with Young up 63-25. Still, Young’s second unit converted four three-pointers and scored 30 points in the fourth quarter. “Our bench has talent,” White said. “Our bench could beat a lot of teams’ starters.”
Emerging sophomore star Joseph Troye scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds.