Okello Hope powers Young into Public League final
BY MICHAEL WOJTYCHIW May 16, 2012
Young’s Okello Hope wanted to beat Lincoln Park bad. And he came out and showed it in the second Public League semifinal at Northside Wednesday afternoon. Hope had 12 kills to lead the Dolphins to a 25-14, 26-24 win over the Lions, avenging Young’s lone conference loss this season.
“I came out really wanting to beat these guys,’’ Hope said. “It’s real nice to get them back in the playoffs too.’’
The start of the match looked as if it would be a barn burner, with no team leading by more than two before the score was tied at 7-7. After Young (23-9) broke tie with a kill by Hope, the Dolphins went on a 15-3 run to seal the first set. Hope finished with five kills in the set.
“We came out playing really good, really inspired out there in the first set,’’ Hope said.
In the second set, neither team allowed the other to go on a significant run until the end of the match. The second set included seven ties and eight lead changes.
Young looked to have the set won when Hope put down a ball from Jack Tracy to give their team a 24-21 lead, but Lincoln Park (19-7) would not give in. A Rafal Ciolkosz kill, a Hope error and an Alex Glass kill tied the game at 24. But Young went back to the guy who had carried them all game and Hope didn’t disappoint. He knocked home the match’s last two points, sending Young to the Public League title match against Payton.
Glass added six kills for the Lions and Donnell McLachlin and Jason Wong had four each.
“We’re usually the top two teams in the city,’’ Hope said, when talking about Payton and Young. “It should be a really good match because we all have some of the top players and is always tight.’’
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