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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A driving floater in the lane by Young’s Paul White with 1:20 remaining in the third quarter against White Station, Tenn. brought coach Tyrone Slaughter to his feet and urging his players to continue exhibiting the resilience that was seemingly nonexistent in the first half.
“This is it! This is it,” Slaughter screamed as his players sprinted back toward the other end of the floor.
Fortunately the No. 1 Dolphins took heed to Slaughter’s plea in the early stages of the final frame and coasted to a 61-40 victory in the Penny Hardaway Hoop Fest at White Station’s Spartan Palace on Saturday.
A standing-room-only crowd witnessed Young (13-1) wear down an undersized White Station squad to seize its ninth-straight victory.
The Dolphins used an 8-0 run to start the fourth quarter and extend their lead 50-33. The run was highlighted by consecutive dunks from junior big man Jahil Okafor (16 points).
Junior shooting guard L. J. Peak (17 points) was the other Young player to finish in double figures.
With the Dolphins’ offense stagnant for a majority of the first half Young relied on their defense to shoulder the load.
“We told them that if they continue to keep the defensive pressure on, we will continue to build on the lead,” Slaughter said. “This was a tough ballgame against a good team in a hostile environment. We allowed 40 points tonight so that’s not bad.”
The Spartans (11-3) were limited to 4-of-26 field goals in the first half, pacing Young to a 25-15 lead at the half..
Junior swingman JeRon Black’s 18 points paced White Station, which has dropped two consecutive games for the first time since losing to two straight to end last season.