Senior Adam Miller made a statement in Morgan Park’s 78-75 overtime victory over Young in the Public League playoff quarterfinals Tuesday.
Miller scored 13 of his 22 points after halftime and hit a go-ahead three-pointer to put the Mustangs up by a point with less than two minutes remaining in overtime.
“My teammates came to play,” Miller said. “I’ve been telling my teammates, ‘I’m not gonna be able to do this by myself.’ Everybody expects me to get 40, 50, 60 [points] — that’s not me anymore. I’m a team player, and at college, I’m gonna be the same thing. I’m gonna make shots when I need to, but I’m gonna lead this team all the way [to the title].”
After Miller wasn’t named a McDonald’s All-American, news broke late last week that he was invited as one of the nation’s top seniors to participate in the prestigious Nike Hoop Summit this spring.
“That McDonald’s snub, like I said, God does things for a reason,” said Miller, who committed to Illinois but hasn’t signed his national letter of intent. “I kept my head on straight, I didn’t let myself get down, I stayed happy and He blessed me all the way, so I got other accolades I can be proud of.”
After the teams exchanged leads in the first half, the game came down to the wire.
Senior guard Tyler Beard came up clutch in the final minute of regulation. After Young forced a turnover, Beard hit a game-tying three-pointer with 38.5 seconds left, which ultimately forced overtime after the Mustangs failed to respond.
“That’s your expectation for seniors,” Young coach Tyronne Slaughter said. “Seniors have to step up and make big plays.”
But Beard, a Georgetown commit, had no points in overtime and finished with 17.
Junior Jaehshon Thomas, who is typically used as a third option for Young, stepped up in a big way, scoring a team-high 22 points. Senior DJ Steward added 21.
“He did a really good job with that today,” Slaughter said of Thomas. “And we expect to see more of that in the playoffs.”
With the win, Morgan Park (18-8) advanced to the Public League semifinals. They’ll play Bogan on Friday at Jones Armory.
“All we gotta do is play our game,” Miller said. “If we play Morgan Park basketball, we gonna be straight.”
Young (18-9) gets time to regroup before regionals begin later this month.
“We’ve been here before,” Slaughter said. “We’ve won three state championships after not winning the city championship, so therein lies the beauty of the new format, but it gives us an opportunity to watch some film and start to see some of the things we’re not doing and hopefully try to get those corrected.”