Friday, March 5, 2011
By Patrick McGavin
Sam Thompson has experienced just about any play or scenario in a given game.
The Ohio State-bound senior forward has played in consecutive Class 4A state championship games.
It stands to reason with the game in the balance, Young knows precisely where to look.
Thompson converted two free throws with 2.3 seconds remaining that clinched the host Dolphins 50-46 victory over No. 23 St. Ignatius in a Class 4A regional final Friday night.
The Dolphins advance to play No. 3 De La Salle Tuesday in the York Sectional.
Thompson scored a team-high 13 points to lead the No. 8 Dolphins (19-10).
We played hard, Thompson said. This was the kind of game where youre not going to hit every shot or make every play, but we played hard and we contested out there and thats what you need this time of year.
Young had enough to withstand multiple St. Ignatius comeback efforts. Wolfpack junior guard Brian Howard (eight points) drilled a three-pointer that capped an 8-0 run that narrowed Youngs 10-point lead to 36-34 with 6:17 remaining.
St. Ignatius (20-8) struggled from the floor, shooting just 17-53. Star center Nnanna Egwu scored a game-high 16 points and added 13 rebounds and six blocked shots. The array of Young big men harassed the Illinois-bound senior into 6-19 shooting from the floor, including 2-11 in the first half.
We were rushing a lot offensively and trying to score quickly and we got out of rhythm, Egwu said. Thats credit to Young, thats how they force you to play. Fortunately we locked them down defensively and thats what kept us in the game.
The Dolphins coveted depth told the story. Sophomore forward Thomas Hamilton Jr. scored six of his 10 points in the first quarter to stake the Dolphins to a 12-7 lead. My offensive play in that first quarter was unexpected, Hamilton said. I thought Id just go out, play defense and rebound.
Eight different Young players scored. Freshman center Jahlil Okafor recorded 11 rebounds, challenged Egwu on the low block and a made a key block in the fourth quarter. Junior point guard Derrick Randolph had six points and a key assist after breaking the press to Luke Hager for a dunk with 16 seconds remaining that put Young up 48-43.
Senior guard Kwai Pearson added nine points for the Dolphins.
St. Ignatius guard Jack Crepeau hit three free throws with 3.7 seconds to pull the Wolfpack within 48-46. Junior forward Marty McClure contributed nine points and senior forward Tyrone Staggers added eight points for the Wolfpack.