||More Sports||Sign up||School Finder|
Whitney Young's Linnae Harper knocks the ball away from DeKalb's Rachel Torres (34) in the second quarter Saturday December 8, 2012, in Chicago. Photo by Frank Polich
The girls at Young might be called the Dolphins, but they play like piranhas and previously-unbeaten DeKalb became their latest feeding frenzy on Saturday night.
Top-ranked Young routed the Barbs 65-33 in the Dolphins’ Chi-Town Showdown and it really wasn’t that close. Young coach Corry Irvin called off the intense full-court pressure defense of her team for much of the second half.
“Their pressure was like nothing we’ve ever seen before in DeKalb,” said Barbs senior guard Rachel Torres, who finished with 12 points and seven rebounds. “I kind of knew what to expect just from playing AAU ball in the summer, so I was telling my teammates to be ready for them to pressure like that. I think we were a little nervous coming out and committed too many turnovers on the press.”
Way too many, actually.
Young (6-0) forced DeKalb (9-1) into 18 first-half turnovers and 24 for the game. It led to a pair of 20-point quarters in the first half for the Dolphins, who took a commanding 40-13 lead into halftime. Linnae Harper, Young’s point guard, led the way by scoring 19 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and tallying eight steals.
Khaalia Hillsman, a 6-5 junior, was the only other Dolphins player to finish in double-figure scoring with 12 points to go with her 10 rebounds. Hillsman, Harper and the rest of Young’s starters cruised out to a 56-20 lead late in the third quarter and then took a seat on the bench with 2:55 left before the buzzer sounded.
Young outrebounded the Barbs 43-27 and nine Dolphins scored in a relentless, balanced attack.
“When you’re coming off an undefeated season and winning the state championship, everybody wants to beat you and there’s always a target on your back,” Harper said.
“Every game you have to come out with intensity and have a lot of focus throughout the whole game. You have to play defense, pressure the ball and get teams to do things they normally wouldn’t do.”
It started early in this game and led to a 14-5 run in the first quarter.
That took a 6-4 game and turned it into a 20-9 lead for Young starting the second. The Dolphins just rolled from that point.