Morgan Park had to play on without star junior Ayo Dosunmu after the first quarter but the Mustangs perserved without him as they defeated Lanphier, 60-53, on Friday afternoon in an IHSA Class 3A state semifinal in Peoria.
Dosunmu went down in the first quarter in the foot injury as he had to be carried from the locker room back to the bench for the rest of the game. Even without the all-state guard, Morgan Park (25-6) advanced to the state-title game as they have a chance to win their third title in five years on Saturday afternoon.
Senior Lenell Henry finished with 12 points and nine rebounds to lead the Mustangs while guard Lamond Johnson added 10 points. Without Dosunmu, the Mustangs attacked the basket as much as possible as they finished with 33 free throw attempts -- knocking down 20 of them.
Lanphier (28-4) was led by Cardell McGee with 12 points while Aundrae Williams had 10 points. The Mustangs did a nice job of containing Lanphier senior guard Yaakema Rose as the high-scoring guard only finished with eight points on 4-for-17 shooting.
Morgan Park moves on to face Fenwick for the Class 3A title game as these were the two best Chicagoland Class 3A teams during the regular season. While both of these programs fell short of making Peoria last season, now they get to meet in a game that should feature a lot of intriguing storylines. It also looks like the Mustangs will have to forge on without Dosunmu as head coach Nick Irvin told CSN's Siera Santos that Dosunmu was done playing for now.
The Class 3A state championship game can be viewed live on CSN at approximately 12:45 p.m. as it will follow the Class 3A third-place game between Bloomington and Lanphier.
Phillips junior defensive tackle recruit Queneil Morrison (6-foot-2, 300 pounds) gave Northern Illinois University his verbal commitment Saturday afternoon. Morrison, who is in DeKalb attending the Huskies spring game, told head coach Rod Carey his decision.
"I committed to NIU," Morrison said. "I just like NIU and it's a good school and a good program. I also really like the people at NIU and it's feel like a great place fort me."
Morrison, who had offers from Toledo and Bowling Green, was starting to draw increased recruiting looks from several FBS schools this spring.
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Why commit this early to the NIU Huskies?
"I just really like NIU and I also didn't want to lose my opportunity that I have at NIU by waiting too long," Morrison said.
Morrison is now the fourth in-state verbal commitment to the Huskies' 2018 Class, joining Andrew defensive end Mike DeHaan, Plainfield East defensive end Jack Sullivan and Maine South running back Fotis Kokosioulis. Earlier this week, Danville junior offensive tackle Julian Pearl (6-foot-7, 245 pounds), who was the first 2018 commitment for the Huskies, backed out and gave Illinois his commitment after he was offered a scholarship earlier this week.
Glenbard North three-star ranked defensive back Tyrik Henderson (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) has given Minnesota and head coach PJ Fleck his verbal commitment.
"The culture that Coach Fleck is bringing to Minnesota is something that fits me as a player and as a young man growing up in this world," Henderson told Rivals.com's Midwest Recruiting Expert Josh Helmholdt. "Coach Fleck will not only teach me the game but he and his staff will teach me the way of (life) and how to succeed the right way.
"I know it's a little ways away from home but we have more than enough close family in Minnesota and my parents still wouldn't miss a beat when coming up for games. Minnesota is on the rise and I'm not missing this Boat, it's my time to hop on and get Rowing. Ski-U-Mah."
Henderson is now the Gopher second known State of Illinois verbal commitment in the Class of 2018 and the eleventh verbal commitment overall. Henderson joins Marist three-star ranked defensive tackle Elijah Teague who gave Minnesota his verbal commitment back in late February.
Henderson's decision is yet another example of recruits giving earlier and earlier verbal commitments. Out of the Rivals.com's Post-Season Class of 2018 State of Illinois Top 25 recruit rankings 11 of the top 12 ranked players are already verbally committed.