Morgan Park guard Ayo Dosunmu is a crafty, stylish player. Neither of those attributes is especially useful against Bogan, one of the city’s hard-nosed, physical teams. Dosunmu spent a large part of the game on the floor on Thursday. The Bengals were determined not to let him convert at the basket with ease.
“They talk trash, they play physical, they hold you,” Dosunmu said. “Their coaches talk trash. It’s a game you have to get up for. I just use all that as motivation to beat them every time.”
Dosunmu battled through a calf injury to score 25 points and lead the No. 6 Mustangs to a 78-62 victory against visiting Bogan.
The Bengals played an excellent first half and led by four points at the break. Evanston transfer Jerome Bynum, who first became eligible over the holidays, has made a major difference for the Bengals. He wasn’t available when Morgan Park beat Bogan in early December.
The first half was calm, by Bogan-Morgan Park standards. That changed in the third quarter. There were several stoppages of play while coaches argued with officials. There was a double technical foul called.
Then Dosunmu hit the floor hard after a drive to the basket midway through the third quarter. He was in pain, holding his left knee. Dosunmu stayed in the game and things changed at that point. The Mustangs (11-2, 5-1 Red-South) closed the quarter on a 17-3 run to take control.
“We love hitting the floor, that wakes us up,” said Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin. “I turned them loose today, whatever goes. I’m glad [Bogan] turned it physical because we were sleeping out there.”
Morgan Park senior Lenell Henry finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds. All the points and most of the boards were in the second half.
“I’ve been on Lenell for the last three weeks, since we lost to Young,” Irvin said. “He’s too big and physical not to dominate the game.”
Sophomore guard Lamond Johnson scored six points, but his real impact is as a ball handler. He was out with a sprained ankle when the Mustangs lost to Young in the Proviso West title game.
“[Johnson] just takes the pressure off me,” Dosunmu said. “He can bring the ball up, run the offense. I can trust him to make great decisions when they are double-teaming me.”
Johnson was also a defensive force, especially in the third quarter when the Mustangs turned up the defensive intensity. After a steal and layup in the third quarter he took a short detour over to the stands to give his father a celebratory high-five.
“We don’t lose with [Johnson],” Irvin said. “He’s the toughest guy in the state, he’s going to bring it every night.”
Freshman Nimari Burnett added 16 points, 14 in the second half. He was the primary offensive threat during the decisive third quarter run.
“[Irvin] said turn it up,” Burnett said. “We brought the heat to them and they couldn’t take it.”
Bynum led Bogan (9-6, 3-3) with 16 points. He fouled out in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Jordan Booker added 12 points and sophomore Rashaun Agee added six points and seven rebounds.
“We are a young team,” Bogan coach Arthur Goodwin said. “It just got away from us in the third quarter, but we showed in the first half how we can play. Cortez Bailey will be back next week and that’s a big piece for us. He’s a point guard and he can score 20 points a game.
“We’ll be ready to challenge the top teams by playoff time.”