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If there were any questions about Young’s toughness, they were answered in Sunday’s game against Morgan Park.
Two of the Dolphins’ stars, Paul White and Miles Reynolds, played through health issues as Young knocked off Morgan Park 72-62 in the Public League quarterfinals at Chicago State University.
White returned to action after missing two games with a leg injury. Reynolds came back into the game after getting a large cut over one eye due to an accidental head butt with Morgan Park guard Charlie Moore with 3:13 remaining in the third quarter.
There was more adversity for Young to deal with as well: Jahlil Okafor was saddled with four fouls by the end of the third quarter. At that point, the Dolphins (20-5) led 55-52 thanks to a baseline dunk and a three-point play by Okafor.
Reynolds, who had to change jerseys because of the bleeding from the cut, came back into the game and took it over. He became the primary ball-handler against Morgan Park’s tough tenacious defense and along with White, combined to make 9 of 11 free throws in the final 1:45.
Not going back in was not an option for Reynolds. “I love going against coach Nick (Irvin) and Morgan Park,” he said. “They are a great team. It was an unfortunate accident, but after the doctor saw me, I told coach (Tyrone Slaughter) I was going back in.”
Reynolds led all scorers with 26 points. Okafor had 19 points and 12 rebounds, while White and Erwin Henry scored 10 points apiece. White also grabbed six rebounds.
Slaughter said this shows the type of character on the team. “Paul and Miles told me don’t even think about not letting them play,” he said.
Lamont Walker scored a team-high 18 points for the Mustangs (16-6). Torry Johnson and Charlie Moore scored 11 apiece and Kain Harris had 10 points.
Irvin said foul trouble really hurt his team. “You can not win a big game when your superstar is on the bench,” he said. “We go as Josh Cunningham goes, and it’s unfortunate that the officials did not allow him to play.”
Cunningham was held to two points.
Irvin believed his refusal to let 6-11 Lamous Brown play had an affect on the game also. “The big fellow missed practice and we have rules,” he said. “I’d rather take a loss than have one player run the team.”
Walker echoed his coach’s disappointment: “It was frustrating out there the way the referees did not allow us to have our big gun out there. They called a lot of ticky-tack fouls.”
Young plays Orr, a 77-63 winner over Uplift, in Wednesday’s semifinals at Chicago State.