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Patience pays off for Lincoln

Published: Saturday, March 22, 2014 12:07 a.m. CDT
(David Zalaznik)
Rockford Lutheran's James Robinson races to the basket with Lincoln's Tyler Horchem close during Friday's 3A state semifinal game at Carver Arena in Peoria. Lutheran lost 45-42.

PEORIA – Lincoln's brand of basketball won't be confused with Morgan Park's or Orr's run-and-gun style.

The Railsplitters elect to pass multiple times during each possession to get a clean look. Their patience paid off late in Friday's Class 3A boys basketball state semifinal at Carver Arena.

Junior guard Gavin Block drilled a 3-pointer with 55 seconds left to lift Lincoln to a 45-42 victory against Rockford Lutheran.

Block scored 16 points, and Joey Olden added 10.

The 6-foot-6 Block set up his dramatic 3-pointer with a steal when his team was trailing 42-40. The Railsplitters (34-2) forced three straight turnovers and scored the final five points of the game.

Thomas Kopelman scored 17 points for Lutheran.

Morgan Park 52, Orr 46: Marlon Jones was shooting free throws with one eye closed. Tyquone Greer was limping around the Carver Arena court. Louis Adams Jr. sat on the bench.

Orr's encore at Carver Arena didn't go as planned.

After getting a face full of floor late in the fourth quarter, Jones made 1 of 2 free-throw attempts to pull his team within four with 23 seconds left. He sat silent, a white towel draped over his head, his left eye bloodshot, afterward. He finished tied for game-high honors in points (15).

Less than 2 weeks after he was hit with a bullet in his left calf, and 3 days after his 3-pointer with 3 seconds left brought Orr (24-5) here, Greer played 13 minutes, scored no points and had two rebounds.

Class 4A

Whitney Young 75, Stevenson 68: Jalen Brunson opened with a spectacular reverse layup, and went on to break the state tournament single-game record with 56 points.

Jahlil Okafor's 33 points came on 15 shots, and ultimately were more satisfying.

Okafor, a 6-foot-11 Duke recruit and the consensus No. 1 prospect in America, will lead Young into Saturday night's state final.

"We have to commend Stevenson and Jalen in particular on a gallant effort today," Young coach Tyrone Slaughter said. "One of the things I've tried to tell you guys as we've gone through this journey this year is these guys on our roster are the best and the brightest that play the game."

Benet Academy 38, Edwardsville 33: Josh Yesefu and Colin Bennett both scored 10 points to lead Benet into the 4A championship game.

Yesefu made 4 of 6 free-throw attempts in the last minute to help Benet (25-7) extend its slim advantage.

Shawn Roundtree had 13 points for Edwardsville (30-3).

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