Simeon Wins 4th Consecutive State Basketball Title

March 17, 2013
Winning four straight titles in any sport would be considered mission impossible. Simeon (30-3) became only the second school in state history to win four straight titles in basketball on Saturday. The Wolverines, who have now won seven state championships in hoops, completed their march to four straight titles with a 58-40 victory over Stevenson (29-5). There might have been some doubt after Simeon lost 54-53 in overtime to Morgan Park in the semifinals of the Public League playoffs at Chicago State. “The hard work paid off,” Simeon head coach Robert Smith said after the historic win in Peoria. “These guys showed up after we lost (to Morgan Park) in the city playoffs.” Senior Jabari Parker, who will attend Duke, helped Simeon complete its incredible journey to history by scoring 20 points in his final high school contest. Russell Woods added 14 points and Kendall Pollard contributed with 10 points for Simeon who has won 28 straight in the IHSA playoffs. Simeon built a 31-24 lead at halftime before pulling away in the second half. The Wolverines scored the first seven points of the third quarter and outscored the Patriots 11-2. One player to watch next season will be Stevenson’s Jalen Brunson. Brunson scored 14 points in the loss to Simeon. Brunson finished the game 3-of-11 and was held to only one free throw in the last 16 minutes of basketball. Simeon will rebuild next season around Ed Morrow, Donte Ingram, and Dennis Williams. How long will Robert Smith stay at Simeon? Stay tuned. If Simeon was the preseason favorite to win Class 4A, Morgan Park certainly would have been a contender in Class 3A. The Mustangs (33-3) lived up to hype and expectations by winning the Class 3A title with a 63-48 win over Cahokia (33-4). Orr (23-4) could return to Peoria next season, but the Spartans finished with back-to-back losses at Bradley to Cahokia and Bartonville Limestone (25-10). "We didn't play Spartan basketball," Orr head coach Lou Adams stated in the postgame press conference after lsoing in the Class 3A semifinal to Cahokia. Stevenson has only four seniors on its roster, but the preseason favorite next year will be Young(27-4) led by Jahlil Okafor. Simeon will still be a contender after winning the CPS sophomore championship. In our neighborhood, the big story was Tom Kleinschmidt returning to his alma mater at Gordon to coach the Rams. Kleinschmidt guided the Rams to 17 wins before losing the regional championship to Uplift. Gordon will count on Raequan Williams, Chris Harrell, Chris Flores, and Deon Merril next season. Foreman (16-8) won the Red North for the seventh straight year while Lake View finished second in the Blue North. Will a North side school ever win the Public League basketball championship? Roosevelt was the last team from this area in 1952 to win the city title. Lane (12-17) will try to rebound next season with Admir Sulgic after losing to Schurz(9-19) in the state playoffs. The other player to keep an eye on next year is Marian Catholic junior Tyler Ulis. "I would pay to watch him play," St Patrick head coach Mike Bailey said. There were two big stories off the court. Fenwick fired head coach John Quinn who won 469 games and seven Catholic League titles. The other big story was the resignation and retirement of CPS Sports Director Calvin Davis after 10 years on the job.

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