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Benet's Jack Beneventi dunks on a breakaway against Young. | Patrick Gleason~For Sun-Times Media
Benet did all it could to contain Young junior Jahlil Okafor, the top player in the nation in the 2014 class, but even 6-9 Sean O’Mara was unable to contain the 6-11 center.
Okafor dazzled the crowd in the Dolphins’ 61-46 win over Benet, scoring 21 points and grabbing 18 rebounds. But numbers can’t do the performance justice.
“[Okafor] is so big and strong and skilled,” Benet coach Gene Heidkamp said. “He’s obviously the real deal. He’s as good a post player as I’ve seen in my 20 years coaching.”
O’Mara managed 10 points and five rebounds against Okafor. He was 3-for-9 from the floor and grabbed five rebounds.
“I watched some of his highlights on film,” Okafor said. “I realized a lot of his shots he likes to fade away on. I tried to use my body and use my length to stop that.”
The Dolphins (24-3) took control of the game with an 11-2 first quarter run and never looked back.
“The chances of us seeing a team better than them in the playoffs is slim,” Benet’s Pat McInerney said. “The only way would be if we played them again in Peoria.”
Junior Miles Reynolds scored 13 and LJ Peak added 11 points and four steals for the Dolphins.
McInerney scored eight while Colin Bonnett and Eddie Eshoo each scored six for Benet (23-5).
“Our schedule has been really difficult,” Heidkamp said. “We are prepared for the playoffs. We’ve played all the styles we can possibly play against. But it’s pretty rare that we would see something like [Okafor].”
O’Mara was a good sport throughout the game, and remained classy at the end.
“I can learn from playing [Okafor],” O’Mara said. “He’s the best player in the nation. It’s always going to make you better.”