Friday, Jan. 21, 2011
By Scott Phillips
Its not often that Young finds itself on a three-game losing streak. After dropping two Red-West contests and a game to an out-of-state opponent, the No. 9 Dolphins found themselves depleted and desperate going into Thursdays conference matchup with Orr.
Despite missing starters Luke Hager and Jermaine Morgan to injury, Youngs defense stepped up on its way to a 49-39 win over Orr at Young. Young (11-6, 5-2) held the No. 25 Spartans to 29 percent (14 of 48) shooting while also keeping close tabs on Orr star and Illinois-commit Mycheal Henry.
Thanks to in large part to the play of senior Sam Thompson, Henry had a rough night, finishing with 13 points on 5 of 17 shooting. Besides a quick six-point burst early in the fourth quarter, Henry was kept in check as Thompson defended him most of the time while waves of long and athletic help defenders threw themselves at Henry.
We just tried to deny him the ball and when he got the ball we wanted to put him in a tough position to score, said Thompson, who scored a game-high 17 points. I have to give our team a lot of credit for their help defense.
Thompsons defensive efforts were important, but his leadership steadied a Dolphin team battling injuries and foul trouble. The Ohio State commit took it upon himself to finish the game for Young, scoring six consecutive fourth quarter points, including an emphatic dunk in traffic to give Young a commanding 42-33 lead with three minutes remaining.
The mindset was to win, Thompson said. Once we got to the second half, (Orr) had some smaller players defending me and I just tried to be aggressive and attack the basket.
Tommy Hamilton Jr. added a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds for Young while junior Curtis Jones led Orr with 14 points.