Jahlil Okafor has monster game for Young

SHARE Jahlil Okafor has monster game for Young

HILLSBORO, Ore. — After sprinting out to a big early lead, Young got all it could handle from one of Oregon’s top teams in the quarterfinals at the Les Schwab Invitational tournament.

Young almost let a 17-point first-quarter lead slip away, but rode huge performances from Jahlil Okafor and Paul White to an 89-80 victory over the Churchill Lancers of Eugene, Ore.

Okafor scored 40 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for the Dolphins, while White went for 28 points and seven boards. The two combined to make 26-of-33 from the field, as Young shot 64.7 percent as a team.

“This was a good team we played and we had them early,” said Dolphins coach Tyrone Slaughter. “We let them back in it, but our guys were poised and found a way to win.”

Churchill’s Deshone Brooks scored 32 points and made seven three-pointers. Unwilling to challenge Okafor and White around the rim, Churchill hit 13-of-39 from beyond the arc. The Dolphins only attempted three three-point shots.

“Their kid had a great game and made big shots, but that’s offset by the fact that Okafor and White were huge for us,” Slaughter said.

Okafor scored the first 11 points for the Dolphins, who led 15-2 and 21-4. Churchill closed within eight late in the first half, but Young extended the lead to 55-38 in the third quarter.

The Lancers went on a 14-1 run to gather momentum, and got within 62-60 on the first possession of the fourth quarter. With the partisan crowd urging on Churchill, the Dolphins leaned on Okafor and White, who re-established control of the game. Young soon rebuilt the lead to nine and held on for the win.

“We got sloppy and made some uncharacteristic decisions, so we have to work on not getting comfortable,” Slaughter noted.

Young moves on to Sunday’s semifinals, and will face either Rainier Beach of Seattle or Jefferson of Portland. Both teams won their respective state championships last season.

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