Boys Basketball: Curie wins showdown with Young

Story Image Cliff Alexander of Curie has mammoth leap to dunk over Young's Jordan Smith. Patrick Gleason ~ For the Sun-Times
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Updated: January 23, 2012 6:59PM

When perennial Public League powers Curie and Young play, there’s a natural interest from city basketball fans clamoring for a good game. The fans came out in full force on Sunday as Curie held off Young 59-47 in the finale of the two-day Young Shootout.

Curie’s relentless and aggressive fourth-quarter defense proved to be the difference as the Condors (17-1) took a 38-36 lead into the period and expanded it to a double digits as Young (8-7) was held without a field goal for the first six minutes of the fourth.

“We wanted our guys to play our style of ball,” Curie coach Mike Oliver said. “Once we went small and played smart it really helped us.”

Fans, scouts and nearly a dozen Division-I college programs came in-part to witness the highly-touted battle at center between Curie’s Cliff Alexander and Young’s Jahlil Okafor.

The sophomore sensations, both top-25 players nationally, squared off down low for much of the game with Alexander often besting Okafor despite battling foul trouble.

Alexander finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks while Okafor had nine points - seven in the first half -, eight rebounds, and two blocks

“I was excited [about the matchup],” Alexander said. “But I didn’t want to focus on the matchup and wanted to focus on getting the win.”

Seniors Devin Foster (20 points) and Malcolm Hill-Bey (14 points) led Curie offensively.

Sophomore Paul White led the Dolphins with 12 points, four rebounds, four blocks, and four assists. Jordan Smith also contributed 10 points for Young.

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