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2/13/13 Chicago-Whitney Youngs Jalil Okafor drives past Orrs Marlon Jones. Stacia Timonere/for Sun Times Media
Jahlil Okafor did not let it happen again.
Orr shocked Young at home in the regular season, overwhelming the Dolphins early and holding on to win after some last second heroics from Jamal McDowell. The victory gave No. 3 Orr the Red-West title and the top seed in the Public League playoffs.
This time, Okafor threw down a statement performance, perhaps becoming the leader for Sun-Times Player of the Year honors.
He finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds. The performance was even more impressive considering it came with Orr’s two jumping jacks, 6-7 Tyquone Greer and 6-8 Marlo Jones trying to shut him down.
The 6-10 junior dominated every phase of Young’s 66-51 win over Orr in the Public League semifinals on Wednesday at Chicago State.
“It was a different game altogether than the first game,” Young coach Tyrone Slaughter said. “Today we really decided we wanted to step up and play. We handled their pressure and kept our composure.”
Orr only managed one basket in the first quarter as No. 4 Young exploded for a 13-5 advantage, by halftime it was 34-19.
Junior LJ Peak scored 16 points and Paul White added five. Slaughter was especially complimentary of senior Robert Brettner (six points), who seemed to energize the Dolphins (22-3) early.
“We got a phenomenal effort from Robert Brettner,” Slaughter said. “He did an excellent job off the bench. He was the unsung hero.”
Jones led Orr (23-3) with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Greer is still struggling with an ankle injury and did not score. McDowell scored seven.
“We lost this game on the bus,” Orr coach Louis Adams said. “We came out here with no energy thinking this was going to be a picnic. We didn’t have the right mindset or attitude to approach a game like this. How we think we can take this game for granted is beyond me, but I guess that’s what happens with kids. Give Young all the credit they did what they had to to.”
Young, which last won the city title in 1998, will play Morgan Park for the city championship on Friday at Chicago State.
Contributing: Clyde Travis