February 21, 2018
by John Montgomery Edited by Patrick Boylan The Lady Wolverines (21-7), who come from a school known for having one of the state's best boys programs, won the public league title for the first time, beating Kenwood 75-72 in overtime on Super Bowl Sunday at Chicago State. The Simeon win was the biggest surprise of the CPS basketball season. Simeon erased a 12-point deficit. In boys basketball, Simeon (25-3) won a ninth championship shield by beating Orr (23-4) 69-59 at Chicago State last Sunday afternoon. It was the ninth championship won by Simeon boys basketball since 1984. Orr has been a great story on and off the court. The Spartans advanced to the CPS championship for the first time under Lou Adams who has won 130 games. Orr starts defense of its Class 2A title this week. Simeon and Orr have been probably the two best basketball teams in our state this season. This was a dream matchup between the top seeds. Simeon prevailed by pulling away in the second half after the game was tied at 32. Jalen Horton Tucker, who will attend Iowa State, played one of his best games of the season by scoring 23 points. Tucker put his team ahead to stay with three treys in the third quarter. Tucker normally plays well, but the Wolverines needed Tucker to step up with Messiah Jones in foul trouble. Tucker did get support from Kejuan Clements who scored 18 points. Jones added 12 points while the bench contributed with 16 points. The Wolverines began the fourth quarter by outscoring the Spartans 10-2. Orr didn't quit, but the rally would fall short. "We wanted to win (the championship) so bad," Adams said after the loss. Winning the Public League title has always proven difficult. Simeon won the city championship for the third straight season. Once again, the Wolverines are favoried to win their eighth state basketball championship in school history. In the semfinals, Orr beat Curie (23-4) 71-59 while Simeon earned some revenge against Young after losing the Class 4A championship last season to the Dolphins. Simeon won the rematch over Young (22-7) 64-53. "That was the second worst game we played all year," Simeon head coach Robert Smith told reporters about the 2017 loss. Could we see Smith one day on the bench at Wintrust Arena? Smith is building quite a resume that might lead to a college coaching job with 395 wins, six CPS championships, and six state titles.

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