Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011
By Clyde Travis
Before the season began, all the talk was about the two city powers, Simeon and Young.
While Simeon lived up to all the advanced billing, Young faltered.
But all doubt has been removed as to whether the Dolphins are back as they earned a convincing 64-50 victory over the top-ranked and previously unbeaten Wolverines in the semifinals of the Public League playoffs on Wednesday night at DePaul.
No. 9 Young avenged a 60-39 loss just two weeks ago and clearly was not the same team.
Young held a 27-25 halftime lead on a three-pointer from the left corner by Gabriel Snyder as time expired.
The Dolphins opened it up in the third quarter and never looked back. They built a 42-29 lead while holding the Wolverines to 1-for-3 shooting from the floor.
Derrick Randolph led Young with 20 points, nine assists and five steals. Sam Thompson and Tommy Hamilton Jr. had 13 points apiece, and Snyder finished with 10 points.
Thompson also had eight rebounds and five blocks.
We are much more together now than we were two weeks ago when we played them, Randolph said. We knew what we had to do, and we followed the game plan.
Jabari Parker was the only Simeon player in double figures with 12 points. Steve Taylor had nine points.
Simeon coach Robert Smith said his team just didnt play well.
Im glad it happened now instead of later, Smith said. We have a chance to regroup and get back to what made us successful. We still had our chances, when you miss eight out of 28 free throws, you cant expect to win.
Young played without freshmen Jahlil Okafor and Paul White, who were not on the bench,
Simeon plays next on Saturday against No, 2 and unbeaten Benet in the City-Suburban Showdown at the UIC Pavilion.
Young plays Brooks, a winner over Curie in the first semifinal, at 7 p.m. Friday in the Public League final at Chicago State.
Thompson, who only had two points until 3:47 remaining in the third quarter, took over the game down the stretch and played like a man possessed.
I knew I had to step up my game," Thompson said. "I felt as though I was underachieving. It seems like a switch went off in me.
Randolph says he feels a lot better now than when he played Simeon the first time.
That was my first game back," Randolph said. "Today I played with a lot of confidence and the way I know I can play. This was just a great victory for our team. Everybody gave it 100 percent. Im very proud of this team. During my 10 day sabbatical we were in great hands and this team did not skip a beat. Said Young coach Tyrone Slaughter This was a great win but there is still more basketball to play.