Bears

Thompson rises to the occasion, leads Young

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Thompson rises to the occasion, leads Young

Friday, March 5, 2011
11:05 p.m.

By Patrick McGavin
YourSeason.com

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.

Akiem Hicks makes Pro Football Focus Team of the Week after strong game against Dolphins

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USA TODAY

Akiem Hicks makes Pro Football Focus Team of the Week after strong game against Dolphins

The Bears defense was not its usual self in their overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. The pass rush was minimal and tackling looked optional, and Brock Osweiler threw for almost 400 yards.

There was plenty of blame to go around, but a few individual defenders had success while their teammates struggled.

Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks made the Pro Football Focus Team of the Week for Week 6 with a 92.2 overall grade.

He recorded seven tackles that resulted in a defensive “stop,” the most of any defensive lineman according to PFF.

Chicago’s next highest-graded player was cornerback Kyle Fuller (78.2), who intercepted Osweiler twice but also missed two tackles.

Offensively, wide receiver Taylor Gabriel led the way with a 76.9 mark. PFF credited four of his five catches coming against Dolphins cornerback Torry McTyer in coverage.

Meanwhile, outside linebacker Khalil Mack had the lowest-graded game of his career (47.8), while linebacker Danny Trevathan (29.9) and safety Adrian Amos Jr. (47.5) each had their second-worst games.

Some of the Bears’ best players were at their worst in Miami. They’re going to need to get their act together for the New England Patriots on Sunday.

2018-19 NBA Power Rankings: Opening Week edition

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USA TODAY

2018-19 NBA Power Rankings: Opening Week edition

The theme of the 2018-19 NBA season will be: “old faces in new places”. Like a season-long game of the NBA on TNT crew’s “Who he play for?” game, this year will be about fans trying to get used to the idea of LeBron James in purple (I won’t call it ‘Forum Blue’)-and-gold, DeMarcus Cousins being on a championship-contending franchise and Kawhi Leonard being the new face of Toronto.

The Warriors are still the easy favorite to make it four NBA championships in five years, but they will be tested perhaps more than any year before in a loaded Western Conference, where even the lowliest of teams (here’s to you Phoenix and Memphis!) made solid offseason moves geared towards winning games.

Over in the now-LeBron-less East, there is hope amongst at least four-to-five teams that they could actually have a shot to win the conference. The Pacers still have budding superstar Victor Oladipo, the Sixers still have Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, and the Raptors and Bucks made head coaching changes that could lead to deep playoff runs. But with the rest of the Eastern conference being stuck between lottery contention and middle of the pack, expect the half-experienced, half-youthful Celtics to takeover as East juggernaut.

But whether or not your favorite franchise is aiming for a high draft pick or a postseason berth, there is tons to be excited in a 2018-19 NBA season that will surely be an intriguing one. Check out Week 1 of our NBA Power Rankings right here.