22 Dec 2021

City of Palms Classic – North Little Rock vs Chicago Whitney Young

This was a consolation semi-final as both teams won their respective first round games but lost to IMG and Oak Hill respectively in the quarters.

It was a bit of a slow start after Nick Smith hit a three for North Little Rock.  From there on to 4:38 in the quarter, all either team could muster was a free throw by A.J. Casey of Whitney Young.  Smith hit another three for NLR to make the score 6-1 with just over four minutes to play.  Things picked up from that point.  Dalen Davis of Young knocked down a three to get the Dolphins to within two.  Keiel Ware scored inside for NLR but the Dolphins grabbed the lead with a 7-0 run as Casey scored in transition, Davis hit a three and Casey threw one down on the break.  Ware put down a lob to bring NLR back to within one.  Davis hit another three for Young, only to be answered by Smith with a drive.  After one quarter of play, Young led by just two, 14-12.

Alan Ingram of NLR tied the game at 14-14 to open the second quarter.  Whitney responded with a three from Casey.  From that point on, Whitney Young was able to maintain a one to three point lead until with two minutes left, Xavier Amos of Young dropped in a mid-range jumper to make the score 30-25 in favor of Young.  The Dolphins would lead by as much as eight, 35-27, after a transition slam by Antonio Munoz, but three free throws from Smith brought the margin back to five at 35-30 at the halftime break.

The Dolphins of Whitney Young stretched their lead to seven, 42-35, in less than two minutes in the third quarter.  However, it didn’t last long.  NLR went on a 13-2 run over the next five minutes, the last on a bucket inside by Smith that gave NLR a 48-44 lead with 1:46 remaining.  That lead was short-lived as Davis of Young scored on a drive and Marcus Pigram converted a three point play to put the Dolphins back on top by one 49-48.  NLR’s Josh Evans knocked down a three with five seconds left to make the score 51-49 in favor of North Little Rock with one period left to play.

NLR extended its lead to six very quickly in the fourth.  Twice, Young got to within four, the last time on a Casey score inside to make it 57-53.  At that point, NLR put the game away with a 10-0 run to make it a 67-53 game with 3:21 left in the contest.  Whitney Young had one last run in them, drawing to within five, 72-67 with twenty-five seconds left to play.  However, it was too little too late and NLR advances to the fifth place title game by virtue of its 74-69 win.

Smith of NLR led all scorers with 30 points while Ware added 15 points and Washington connected for 13 points.

For Whitney Young, Casey finished with 25 points while Davis added 24 points and Pigram contributed 11 points.


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