CHICAGO -- Farragut had an answer for Young’s 6-foot-10 sophomore star Jahlil Okafor on Friday.
The Admirals played Okafor to perfection by limiting his touches and bringing their best defender from the weak side when he did catch the ball. They got him into foul trouble and made him a non-factor for most of the game.
But Farragut’s problem wasn’t Okafor on Friday. It was everyone else.
As much as the Dolphins would prefer to have their star big man on the floor, they showed Friday they’re more than a one-man show. Young’s depth proved to be the difference in its 47-43 road win over No. 17 Farragut in the Red West matchup.
With Young (8-5) trailing to start the fourth quarter and Okafor on the bench with four fouls, Dolphins coach Tyrone Slaughter turned to his bench for the winning spark.
First, Young junior guard Scott Kingsley stepped up. Kingsley drained a 3-pointer to give the Dolphins a 31-30 lead with 6:43 left. A foul on Farragut was called away from the ball after Kingsley’s shot, and Young kept possession. Seven seconds later, the ball made its way to Kingsley again, and he knocked down another 3-pointer to put his team ahead by four points.
“Scott has been a kid who just continues to work and stick in there,” Slaughter said. “We told him his chance was going to come this week, and it did, and he delivered. For that, we’re totally grateful.”
Young senior guard Jordan Smith’s turn was next. He delivered back-to-back baskets during the quarter and sealed with the win with two free throws with 3.4 seconds left. He had seven points, three rebounds and one block in the fourth quarter alone.
“Jordan came off the bench and played really well for us,” Slaughter said. “That’s what we’ve asked him to do. It’s good to have a kid come off the bench play hard and help us win. He did that.”
Senior guard Gabe Snider, a UIC recruit, also contributed five points for the Dolphins in the fourth quarter, and the guard trio combined for 18 of Young’s 22 fourth-quarter points.
On the other hand, Farragut’s bench did it in. The Admirals (7-6) had three starters foul out in the fourth quarter and couldn’t get the same type of production from their backups.
“They were a little deeper than we were at that point,” Farragut coach William Nelson said.
Farragut’s star Rashaun Stimage still kept his team close, though. Stimage scored nine of his game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter. He also had seven three rebounds, three blocks and two steals.
Okafor finished with 10 points and six rebounds. He scored four points in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter.
“At the end of the day, it was a great day tonight at Farragut for an unranked basketball team,” Slaughter said.
The Red West continues to be a heated race. Marshall, which defeated Farragut on Wednesday, is 5-0 in conference. Young improved to 4-1 with win, and Farragut fell to 4-2. Crane, North Lawndale and Orr are still in the mix as well.