Fenwick Stuns Simeon 71-68

January 19, 2016
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For the first three quarters a matchup between two of state's best basketball teams was really a duel between Simeon's Zach Norvell and Fenwick's Mike Smith. Smith would eventually score 38 points to lead Fenwick(15-2) past Simeon 71-68 on Martin Luther King Day in Oak Park. "It was a great game for us to play," Smith said after the win. "Simeon is one of the best teams in the country." Norvell, who will attend Gonzaga, did enough to help his team scoring 25 points. Smith had 11 points in the fourth quarter as Simeon overcame a 10-point deficit and led 67-66. Smith was fouled while attempting three-point shot and made three free throws with 12.3 seconds left for a 69-67 lead. Simeon responded with a free throw by Evan Gilyard.  Jamal Nixon sealed the win for the Friars on two free throws with 1.4 remaining in this exciting game. "I practice those free throws all the time," Smith stated. There won't be a rematch since both teams are in different classes for the state basketball tournament. Fenwick led most of the after game before Simeon rallied in the fourth quarter behind Gilyard (19 points) and Josh Thomas (16 points). This was an entertaining game, but both teams need to concentrate on league play before the state playoffs. Simeon has won the state basketball title on seven occasions. Robert Smith has guided the school to 323 wins and six championships. Winning the Public League title might be more difficult for Simeon with 10 CPS teams being ranked. Fenwick will have to contend with St. Joseph(12-4), De La Salle, and Hales in the Catholic League tournament.

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