By Scott Phillips
Whitney Young and St. Rita both entered Fridays game at or around double-digit losses on the season thanks to difficult schedules. Although their records dont match the gaudy win-loss marks of many others in the Sun-Times Super 25, the No. 13 Dolphins showed how dangerous of a matchup they could be the rest of the playoffs with a 64-56 win over the No. 20 Mustangs in Fridays Class 4A Regional Final at Young.Riding the interior scoring of super sophomore Jahlil Okafor, Young (16-10) never trailed in the second half after a 33-33 tie at halftime. Okafor finished with a game-high 24 points to go along with 10 rebounds.We knew it was going to take a lot of effort to beat (St. Rita), Okafor said. Theyre a good team; guard-oriented. We knew they would want to push, but we tried to keep it inside.Clinging to a 55-51 lead with five minutes remaining, the Dolphins used an 8-0 run to gain a 63-51 lead with two minutes remaining. Okafor converted two layups during the run and was also intentionally fouled after a physical foul put him to the ground.Teams have been that (physical) with me all year, Okafor said. I just have to play through it and Ive gotten used to it.Free-throw shooting was the major Achilles heel for St. Rita (15-11), as they were within striking distance most of the game but couldnt overcome a horrid 8-for-24 finish from the charity stripe.Senior Tony Hicks led St. Rita with 20 points while sophomore Dominique Matthews added 13 points.UIC-recruit Gabriel Snyder came off the bench to score all 10 of his points in the second half for Young. Young advances to face rival and two-time defending Class 4A champion Simeon on Tuesday at the Argo Sectional semifinal.