High-SchoolBoys-Basketball: Whitney Young
February, 5, 2012
By Ronnie Flores | ESPN.com
Scott Kurtz/ESPNHSShabazz Muhammad of Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) had a 41-point performance in the final showcase game of his high school career.Nike Extravaganza: Saturday morning recap | Friday recap | Preview
SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Whitney Young (Chicago) came into its matchup against POWERADE FAB 50 No. 20 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) on Saturday at the Nike Extravaganza without much to lose.
After all, Whitney Young was missing two starters, guard Paul White and center Thomas Hamilton Jr., to injury. The team played a grueling national schedule and limped into the contest as a dangerous 12-7 squad.
Bishop Gorman had its own statement to make. It wanted to prove it was still among the nation's best teams despite four losses. Star player Shabazz Muhammad wanted to make a statement about being the nation's best player despite his recent drop from No. 1 to No. 2 in the ESPNU 100.
Gorman stated its case by capitalizing on a 29-12 third-quarter advantage en route to a 69-50 victory.
Muhammad did the same, converting 13 of 20 shots, including 6-of-6 from 3-point range, and making 9 of 10 free throws in a 41-point performance.
"I have been asked that question thousands of times," said Bishop Gorman coach Grant Rice on Muhammad's new spot in the ESPNU 100. "I don't have the answer, but I know [Muhammad] doesn't need motivation. You guys have seen him for the past two years. He's just trying to get through this season, make his college decision and leave his mark on high school basketball."
Muhammad, the top vote getter in the latest ESPNHS Mr. Basketball USA Tracker, scored Bishop Gorman's first 12 points. When he hit a 3-pointer near the end of the first quarter, he had 15 of the Gaels' 18 points.
Muhammad had 21 points in the first half. He keyed a 10-0 run in the pivotal third quarter with two 3-pointers.
January, 8, 2012
By Jason Jordan | ESPN.com
WHEELING, W.Va. -- Things couldn’t get any worse for Nate Britt.
Here his Gonzaga College High School (Washington, D.C.) team was lucky to be down three to Whitney Young (Chicago) at the half and Britt had contributed just one steal and one foul.
“It was my worst first half of the year I’d say,” said Britt, a junior point guard who is committed to North Carolina and ranked No. 15 in the ESPNU 60. “I knew we needed to pick it up, but I just couldn’t get it going. I’ve been in a slump the last few games. We were gonna need someone else to step up.”
Enter Kris Jenkins.
The junior forward used his quickness and relentless motor to dominate Whitney Young’s frontcourt to the tune of 21 points and seven rebounds to help Gonzaga (10-0), ranked No. 11 in the POWERADE FAB 50, roll past the Dolphins (6-4) 54-44 Saturday night at the Cancer Research Classic in Wheeling, W.Va.
Jordan Abdur-Ra’oof chipped in with 10 points for Gonzaga, and Jahlil Okafor, who is ranked No. 3 in the ESPNU 25, led Whitney Young with 16 points and eight rebounds.
“I definitely noticed that we needed a boost,” said Jenkins, who was named Most Valuable Player. “They were a lot bigger than me, but I felt like I could beat them with my first step and that worked for me. That was a tough win, but we found a way to get it done.”
The Dolphins jumped on Gonzaga early by pumping the ball inside to Okafor, who overpowered the Eagles' front court scoring 10 points in the first half to give the Dolphins a slim 32-29 lead at the half.
Gonzaga couldn’t get anything going offensively in the first half. They shot just 34 percent from the floor and went 1-of-8 from the 3-point line.
The lone bright spot was Jenkins whose 16 first half points kept them within striking distance.
“We couldn’t hit anything,” Britt said. “We’re usually a lot better shooting the ball so I don’t know what was going on there. Jahlil was killing us in the first half so what we really talked about was turning it up defensively in the second half. We felt like that’s where we’d have the best chance to win.”
By the end of the third quarter, Gonzaga’s intense defensive pressure had caused Whitney Young to commit 18 turnovers. The Eagles only had three.
Midway through the fourth quarter they’d turned those giveaways into a 19-6 run, a deficit the Dolphins couldn’t recover from.
“We know that Whitney Young is a great team and Jahlil is a great player,” Jenkins said. “And they play a tough schedule so we knew that their record didn’t mean anything at all. We are really happy to come away with the win. It’s huge for our program and to do it on national TV was really special.”
Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN.
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