SPRINGFIELD, Mass. —
In the event that anyone forgot the importance of the matchup between Whitney Young (Chicago)
and Long Beach Poly (Calif.)
Saturday at the 2013 Hoophall Classic, L.J. Peak
wasn’t afraid to remind them.
With 1:30 left to play in the first quarter, Peak, a 6-foot-4 junior wing for Whitney Young, took a loose ball and went the length of the court, slamming it home emphatically. The Dolphins' bench erupted and played from that point with the swagger of one of the nation’s top teams.
That swagger lasted — and then some — as Whitney Young, ranked No. 2 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25
, blew away No. 4 Long Beach Poly, 85-52.
"The challenge today was that we were coming out and playing a very good basketball team," said Whitney Young head coach Tyrone Slaughter. "We knew they were ahead of us in (some of) the rankings nationally.
"We’ve got a lot of good guys that can play and I think a lot of people are beginning to notice."
Whitney Young (17-1) was powered by its talented trio of juniors. Jahlil Okafor
, the Dolphins' 6-11 center and the No. 1-ranked player in the class of 2014, was dominant. He scored a game-high 26 points and grabbed seven rebounds with three blocks while commanding much of Long Beach Poly’s defensive attention.
"He just gives us a calming influence," said Slaughter of Okafor, who has received offers from Duke, Connecticut, Arizona, Illinois, Georgetown, Michigan State, Ohio State, Missouri and North Carolina, among others. "He's always steady for us no matter what the situation is."
Whitney Young’s talent goes well past Okafor, however, as evidenced by the contributions from Peak and 6-9 forward Paul White
, ranked No. 61 among juniors. The athletic Peak, ranked No. 37 in the class, scored 11 points while White added 20 points and seven rebounds.Miles Reynolds
and Ausar Madison
also played well for the Dolphins, scoring 11 points each.
The loss snapped an eight-game win streak for Long Beach Poly, which hadn’t been defeated since falling to Montverde Academy (Fla.)
at the City of Palms Classic in December.
Long Beach Poly was led by Kameron Murrell
, who scored a team-high 15 points. Oregon signee Jordan Bell
had 10 points and eight rebounds.
Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia) 63,
Orlando Christian Prep (Fla.) 40Ja'Quan Newton
scored a game-high 17 points and led Neumann-Goretti to a 63-40 win over Orlando Christian Prep.
Newton, a 6-3 junior point guard, is being recruited by a handful of the nation's top programs, including Georgetown, Wake Forest, Virginia, Temple, Maryland, Seton Hall, Penn State and Rutgers, who have all offered. Xavier, Auburn and Missouri have most recently joined the list of schools courting the explosive Newton.
For as dominant as he was on the offensive end, Newton was equally impressive defensively. He recorded three steals while providing high-pressure defense for a game-high 31 minutes.
The Saints led from the start, extending their seven-point halftime lead to 16 after three quarters, never looking back.John Davis
, a 6-5 senior forward and Towson commit, added nine points and 10 rebounds for Neumann-Goretti, which improved to 12-3.Adonys Henriquez
, a Miami commit, and Jonathan Joseph
led Orlando Christian, scoring 11 and 10 points, respectively.
St. Rita (Chicago) 71, Lake Clifton (Baltimore) 50
The Chicago area showed its depth as St. Rita
, ranked No. 15 in the state of Illinois, cruised past Baltimore’s Lake Clifton.
Rising recruit Victor Law
impressed the Springfield College crowd with 17 points, 19 rebounds and three steals. The wiry 6-7 forward helped the Mustangs to an early lead, scoring 11 first-half points as St. Rita led by 14 at halftime.
It was much of the same in the second half as St. Rita’s depth was simply too much for the undersized Lakers.
Six-foot-two senior guard Dominique Matthews
scored a team-high 18 points and added seven boards. Scott Kingsley
added 10 points for St. Rita., which improved to 9-3 this season.
"I really try to push myself," said Law, who is being recruited by Bradley, Colorado, Harvard, Loyola (Ill.) and Providence. "Coach (Gary DeCesare) tries to tell us what are we going to do when we’re not scoring. Offense isn’t really everything in basketball, so we really tried to take it to the next level."
Lake Clifton (10-5) got a game-high 20 points and 16 rebounds from 6-foot-4 senior Cortell Henson. Daquan Ross added 17 points while Damon Seward had five points and 10 rebounds.
Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 95,
Capital Prep (Hartford, Conn.) 68Shaquille McFarlan
scored a team-high 16 points as Lincoln cruised past Capital Prep. Four-star recruit Isaiah Whitehead
scored nine points for Lincoln while Capital Prep point guard and USC signee Kahlil Dukes
poured in a game-high 29 points.Chester (Pa.) 63, Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 55
Future Arizona Wildcat Rondae Jefferson
tallied 20 points, nine rebounds and six steals to lead Pennsylvania's defending Class AAAA state champions past Washington Catholic Athletic Conference power Gonzaga.
Senior forward Richard Granberry
(13 points) and senior guards Darius Robinson
(10) and James Kirksey
(10) also finished in double figures for the Clippers, who improved to 12-3.
Villanova signee Kris Jenkings netted 23 points to lead Gonzaga.