Okafor leads Whitney Young over Westinghouse

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Okafor leads Whitney Young over Westinghouse

By: Patrick Z. McGavin
SeasonPass.com

Westinghouse entered its showdown against No. 2 Young hyped, excited and hopeful. It only took a few moments for Jahlil Okafor to deflate the heightened expectations.

The star 6-11 Dolphins junior center blocked a shot, grabbed a loose ball and promptly ignited a fastbreak he finished with a rim-wrecking dunk.

It went spectacularly downhill from there for the Warriors.

With Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and Illinois coach John Groce part of the packed house, Okafor made Westinghouse suffer a very unlucky 13, going a perfect 13-of-13 from the floor in scoring 27 points as the host Dolphins destroyed the previously unbeaten and No. 25 Warriors 98-49 Friday.

Okafor played just 16 minutes and added nine rebounds, six blocks, two assists and a steal for the Dolphins (3-0, 2-0 Red-West). This was our first home game, and we were ready to come out and make a statement, he said.

Westinghouse (7-1, 1-1) scored the games opening basket on a soft jumper by Marlik Williams. Okafor scored eight points during a 14-0 Young explosion. He added three blocks during the charge, indicative of the Dolphins defensive intensity. My coaches have been stressing with me a lot about improving my defense, and Ive been spending a lot of time working on that part of my game, he said.

Westinghouse stayed around for a quarter, trailing just 15-7. Six-nine junior forward Paul White scored six of his 12 points during the quarter as Young blitzed Westinghouse with a 26-9 run for a commanding 41-16 lead at the break. White added seven rebounds and three blocked shots. The interior defense forced Westinghouse players to repeatedly force or rush shots at the rim. Westinghouse managed only six field goals in the first half.

It did not help Westinghouse its biggest inside player, 6-5 center Darrell Gant, suffered a shoulder injury early in the second quarter and did not return. Okafor was unstoppable. In the third quarter, he scored 15 points during a 33-point explosion. He punctuated his dominant performance by hitting a soft elbow jumper and a three-pointer from the top of the key. I got frustrated over the summer about always being double-teamed, and I spent a lot of time working on my shot, he said.

Junior swingman L.J. Peak scored eight of his 12 points in the first half. Sophomore Joseph Toye contributed 12 points off the bench. Senior guard Miles Reynolds added eight points. Ten different Young players scored. Even with two transfers and several players in their first year of varsity competition, Young has demonstrated impressive chemistry. I can truthfully say on this team everybody really likes each other, Okafor said.

Senior forward Dewan White scored 13 points for the Warriors. Junior guard Dequantis Jackson added 11 points.

The Dolphins also showed no mercy. One difference between this years team is that it doesnt take any days off, Young coach Tyrone Slaughter said. We saw that Westinghouse beat a good Marshall team the other day, and that certainly caught our attention.

Ive said it already, and I dont want to detract from any of the other great players, but I firmly believe Jahlil is the No. 1 player in the country. The other thing is, I dont think theres anybody that can stick him one-one-one, Slaughter said.

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Fremd's Grace Tworek

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Fremd's Grace Tworek

This week's Wintrust Athlete of the Week is Fremd senior Grace Tworek. 

Tworek has led the Vikings on and off the court this season. Last week, the Harvard commit put up a career-high 29 points in a win over Wheeling. 

Learn more about Tworek's success in the video above. 

Saturday on CSN: Loyola, Illinois State host Missouri Valley opponents

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Saturday on CSN: Loyola, Illinois State host Missouri Valley opponents

CSN will have two Missouri Valley Conference games with local teams on Saturday. 

The first game tips at 3 p.m. live on CSN as Evansville heads to Loyola. The second game tips at 7 p.m. and is also live on CSN as Drake will play at Illinois State.

Loyola (13-7, 3-4) is coming off of a tough road loss in double overtime to Northern Iowa. The Ramblers have been led by senior Milton Doyle this season as the former Marshall star is one of the better guards in the Valley.

Evansville (10-10, 1-6) has dropped five straight games as they're struggling to gain any momentum in conference play. Senior guard Jaylon Brown is having an outstanding season for the Purple Aces as he's putting up 21.2 points per game.

The second matchup has Drake (6-13, 4-3) traveling to Illinois State. The Bulldogs have won three of four games and junior guard Reed Timmer is dangerous while former Saint Viator product Ore Arogundade is having a solid sophomore season. 

Illinois State (15-4, 7-0) is leading the Valley after a huge win over Wichita State as they've won eight straight games. The Redbirds are hoping to make a run to an NCAA tournament bid with another home win.