February 9, 2012
Whitney Young’s guards can be quick and flashy, but the Dolphins sealed their fourth consecutive Chicago Public League championship while they were standing still Saturday.
The No. 2 Dolphins struggled with their outside shooting against Morgan Park but made 14 of 17 from the line in the fourth quarter of a 61-48 victory at Chicago State.
Junior guard Linnae Harper said she felt like she “won a million bucks” after totaling 18 points and 13 rebounds to help Young (26-0) to its seventh city title in eight years. Kentucky-bound guard Janee Thompson added 16 points.
“Morgan Park always plays super hard and super intense, so it was something we expected,” Thompson said. “We knew it was going to be an emotional game because we know them. We’ve been playing them for years.”
After committing eight first-quarter turnovers, Morgan Park (19-8) settled down to give Young a rare challenge. Mustangs sophomore guard Shami Goodman scored on three straight drives in the third quarter. Toledo-bound guard Kendyl Nunn (12 points) added a 3-pointer and two free throws that cut Young’s lead to 35-34 with 1 minute, 48 seconds left in the third.
That’s when the Dolphins changed their strategy, opting to push the ball inside.
Thompson made four free throws and found Taylor Brame for a layup in the first 2:29 of the fourth. Young made its first 10 free-throw attempts in the quarter and opened up a 13-point lead.
“We realized a lot of our shots weren’t falling,” Thompson said. “We decided as a team we would try to get to the basket more, get some layups and try to get some stuff going.”
“We knew they were going to come out tough and rough, so we knew once we got in the bonus we were going to have to make free throws. It was easy with the amount of free throws we shoot every day in practice.”
3A and 4A regionals Monday through Feb. 16. Here are the highlights:
THORNRIDGE 3A REGIONAL
Morgan Park vs. Fenger/Thornridge winner, 6 p.m.
NILES NORTH 4A REGIONAL
Maine South vs. Leyden/Schurz winner, 6 p.m.
NILES WEST 4A REGIONAL
Niles West vs. Taft/Foreman, 6 p.m.
BARTLETT 4A REGIONAL
Bartlett vs. Glenbard West/St. Charles North winner, 6 p.m.
STAGG 4A REGIONAL
Homewood-Flossmoor vs. T.F. South/Eisenhower winner, 7:30 p.m.
GLENBROOK SOUTH 4A REGIONAL
Glenbrook South vs. Lane, 6 p.m.
BOLINGBROOK 4A REGIONAL
Bolingbrook vs. Downers Grove North/Plainfield North winner, 6 p.m.
RIDGEWOOD 3A REGIONAL
Walter Payton vs. UIC/Kelvyn Park winner, 8:10 p.m.
PROVISO WEST 4A REGIONAL
Whitney Young vs. Morton/Curie winner, 6 p.m.
Lincoln-Way North at Andrew, 7 p.m.
New Trier vs. Evanston at Northwestern, 7:30 p.m.
Public League tournament second round
Dundee-Crown at Huntley, 7 p.m.
Glenbrook North at Warren, 7 p.m.
Public League tournament quarterfinals (at Chicago State)
Public League tournament
semifinals (at DePaul)
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