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.
2017-18 record: 26-5, 8-1 Public League Red-South/Central
Postseason results: Lost to Whitney Young in Class 4A sectional finals.
Players to watch: Senior guard DeJuan Gordon is a Kansas State commit who emerged as a top-150 national prospect with his strong play this summer. Another senior guard, Ramean Hinton, is also a talented perimeter threat with plenty of experience. And keep an eye out for Fenwick transfer Damari Nixon as the Condors have historically done well with transfer guards.
Why they're in the power rankings: Curie will have some question marks on the interior, but they're absolutely stacked at guard. Gordon is a legit Player of the Year candidate while he has plenty of help around him. The Condors have been one of the Public League's best programs over the past decade and this season should be no different.
Did you know? Curie has captured four consecutive regional titles in Class 4A.
2017-18 record: 22-7, 7-3 SouthWest Suburban Blue
Postseason results: Lost to West Aurora in Class 4A sectional finals.
Players to watch: A Division I backcourt of seniors Tyler Cochran (Northern Illinois) and Joseph Yesufu (Drake) has Bolingbrook in the top ten once again as they should be a lethal combination. Senior big man Kameron Leonard is a quality big man who is committed to Lewis University. Junior guard Darius Burford has received praise from college coaches for his play this fall.
Why they're in the power rankings: Bolingbrook's Division I backcourt remains as dangerous as any team in the area as Cochran and Yesufu can both take over a game. With more than just that duo capable of putting up production, the Raiders look like a very legitimate contender this season.
Did you know? Bolingbrook head coach Rob Brost spent part of the offseason as a court coach for USA Basketball. Brost helped during June's U17 World Cup Team Training Camp as well as October's Junior National Team Minicamp.