Short-handed Young squad prevails past Orr


Short-handed Young squad prevails past Orr

Friday, Jan. 21, 2011
10:35 PM

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.

Bears-Lions prediction: Will special teams continue John Fox's NFC North woes?

Bears-Lions prediction: Will special teams continue John Fox's NFC North woes?

Only three of John Fox’s 12 wins as Bears coach have been against NFC North opponents, while 12 of his 29 losses have come against divisional opponents. 

That’s a recipe for back-to-back-to-back last place finishes in the NFC North. And if the Bears can’t beat an Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay Packers team, why could it beat a Detroit Lions team that has a healthy franchise quarterback?

The positive end of that answer is the Bears do have wins over two playoff teams (Pittsburgh and Carolina) while six of their four losses have been by eight points or fewer. Sunday’s game will probably be close, again (if it’s not, and the Bears are on the losing end of it, it would raise some significant concerns about the state of Fox within the locker room). 

So if the game is decided by one possession or less, this could be the difference: Detroit has one of the best special teams units in the NFL, ranking second in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, while the Bears are 28th by the same measure. 

Getting Sherrick McManis back this week should help solidify Jeff Rodgers’ special teams units, but Jamal Agnew has two punt return scores and is averaging 18.3 yards per return. 

“Tough guy — he’ll return inside and outside,” Rodgers said. “He’s got multiple longer returns against people this year. it’s not just, ‘I had a long return in Week 2 or Week 1,’ and kinda held onto that. he’s been productive in a lot of games. certainly a guy that we’ve gotta do a good job against.”

If the Bears don’t do a good job bottling up Agnew, though, he could be the reason why the game flips to Detroit — or, at least, why the Lions keep the Bears at arm’s length. 

Prediction: Lions 24, Bears 16

Bulls Talk Podcast: Will Kris Dunn build off career night?


Bulls Talk Podcast: Will Kris Dunn build off career night?

On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill, and Kevin Anderson react to a breakout game from Kris Dunn against the Hornets Friday night. They’ll discuss his development and how it impacts rookie Lauri Markkanen. Plus just how long will both the Wolves and Bulls be judged on the Jimmy Butler trade? Is Dwight Howard a hall of famer? And a new era in Philly with Simmons and Embiid. That and more on this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast.