Boys Basketball: Young tops Morgan Park for Public League championship
By Michael O’Brien firstname.lastname@example.org February 15, 2013 10:58PM
Morgan Park’s Kyle Davis reacts after the Mustangs’ loss to Whitney Young in overtime Friday night in the Public League championship game. | Stacia Timonere~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 18, 2013 6:41AM
Morgan Park took down Jabari Parker and Simeon, but two national powerhouse programs and players in a three-day span was just too much, as the Mustangs fell to Young 60-56 in overtime Friday in the Public League championship game at Chicago State.
The Dolphins have Jahlil Okafor, the top player in the nation in the Class of 2014 and the best big man the city has seen in a generation.
“Of course I hear that, I’m on Twitter,” Okafor said. “I don’t get into that stuff, though. There have been so many good players in Chicago.”
Okafor scored 19 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked seven shots, none bigger than his swat of Billy Garrett Jr.’s potential game-winner at the end of regulation.
“I had a feeling he was going to shoot it,” Okafor said. “It was a big play.”
Okafor shot 8-of-13 from the floor, and his mere presence seemed to destroy Morgan Park’s offense in the overtime. The Mustangs talented trio of guards were able to penetrate, but couldn’t score with Okafor looming. Even the big men, 6-7 Josh Cunningham and Lamont Walker, were unable to convert on Okafor in the final four minutes.
“He is the player of this year and last year and next year,” Slaughter said. “There is no one that can stop him.”
Miles Reynolds’ three-pointer with 53 seconds to play was the biggest shot of the game. It tied the score at 51, setting up Garrett’s final attempt. Reynolds finished with 13 points.
L.J. Peak (15 points, 5 rebounds) and Okafor scored to open the overtime and give the Dolphins (23-3) a four-point lead.
It’s Young’s first city championship since back-to-back titles in 1997 and ’98. George Stanton, who coached those teams, spoke with the Dolphins before the game.
“It feels great to win this for the school,” Okafor said. “This was one of our goals from the start of the season.”
Kyle Davis led Morgan Park (26-3) with 11 points and six rebounds. Garrett scored 10. Walker had nine points and 13 rebounds and Cunningham added nine points and five rebounds.
“It’s a huge step for us,” Slaughter said. “It means a lot to me personally since I’ve never won one.”
There was some controversy after the game with Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin threatening to protest the game. The Mustangs thought Peak had six fouls in the game. The official scorebook listed two fouls, but the ME-TV broadcast team had Peak with six.
“The confusion at the end took away from a great game,” Irvin said. We spent a good portion of the final minutes trying to get (Peak) out of the game because we had him with five fouls.”
Simeon defeated Morgan Park 51-38 to win the sophomore city championship. It was a balanced scoring effort with freshman Ben Coupet leading the way with 11.