Five straight victories, a Catholic League tournament title and a hot start to Class 4A play made De La Salle a candidate to upset Young in its own regional final.
But Young has seen a lot of styles this season because of its national schedule. The Dolphins jumped on De La Salle early and cruised to a 73-60 win to advance to a Marist Sectional semifinal next week against Simeon.
No. 3 Young (24-5) led 21-3 after the first quarter and started to pull away with a 12-0 run to start the third for a 49-19 lead. Duke recruit Jahlil Okafor scored a game-high 22 points, while St. Louis recruit Miles Reynolds added 21.
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Whitney M Young Magnet High School, 211 South Laflin Street, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
De La Salle Institute, 3434 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616
"We've been to the regionals for the last six years, we've won them the last six years. Our expectations are that we'll win the regional," Young coach Tyrone Slaughter said. "We played the toughest schedule, played the best teams across this country. There's nothing that people can do to us or will do that we have not seen, so from that perspective we felt pretty good about coming into tonight's game."
Okafor dominated with four thunderous dunks against the Meteors (15-11) in the opening quarter.
"Just playing the way we know how to play — moving the ball, playing together and playing with a sense of urgency," Okafor said. "Our main focus is the state championship."
Late in the third, Okafor had to calm his team after players from both sides briefly pushed and shoved one another.
"We were about to win this game, we were up 30 at that point, so I told them not to pick up any dumb fouls," Okafor said. "We needed to stay smart so we'll have all of our players the next game."
Player of the game: Jahlil Okafor, Young, 22 points, 7 rebounds.
Key performers: Young — Miles Reynolds, 21 points; Erwin Henry, 11 points; Paul White, 9 points, 13 rebounds. De La Salle — Aaron Jones, 12 points; Tyler Lewis, 11 points; Karl Harris, 11 points; Martez Cameron, 11 points.