Saturday, March 19, 2011
Posted: 11:59 p.m.
By Michael O'Brien
Simeon captures 4A Title
PEORIA Simeon coach Robert Smiths reaction after the buzzer sounded on his second consecutive state title was muted. He shrugged his shoulders and shook some hands. It has become routine.
The Wolverines have dominated the state since Smith took over the program from his mentor Bob
Simeon has won four state titles and finished second once in his seven seasons. This is his second time winning back-to-back big school titles. Hes won with and without Derrick Rose and Jabari Parker and is widely recognized as one of the top coaches in the country.
There has been talk of Smith leaving Simeon for assistant and even head coaching jobs in the collegiate ranks, but hes staying put at Simeon for now.
Its been a great run, Smith said. It came soon (in his career), sooner than most. But it comes from hardwork from my entire staff. It never gets old. This was probably the hardest one because everyone expected us to do it from Day 1. Last year was fun because nobody expected us to do what we did.
Sophomore Jabari Parker didnt play a major role in the Wolverines win last year, after suffering an injury during the game. But he was clearly the star on Saturday scoring 12 points to lead Simeon to a 48-39 win over Warren in the Class 4A state championship game at Carver Arena.
We just believe in each other, Parker said. We are a team that prides itself on the way we play and being thorough.
The win wasnt a command performance and it wasnt particularly pretty. However it was brutally effective. Warren never held the lead. Nathan Boothes jumper to open the second half made it 24-22, but the Wolverines (30-2) just kept extending the lead after that.
Rock Island wins 3A Title in double OT
PEORIA Romal Davis never dreamed that hed be standing at center court wearing a Class 3A state championship medal around his neck. At least not while wearing a Rock Island jersey.
Davis, 6-foot-3 senior, grew up in Chicago and played basketball at Orr his freshman year. The Spartans, led by Illinois recruit Mycheal Henry, were considered to be one of the favorites to win the 3A state championship this season.
Davis moved to Rock Island with his mother after sophomore year and ended up playing with another Division I bound star, Chasson Randle.
I knew they had a good team here when I moved, Davis said. I dont know that I actually thought about winning a state title, though.
Rock Island did just that on Saturday, beating Centralia 50-40 in two overtimes to give the school its first state title. The Rocks finished second in the first title game back in 1908 and finished second again in 1910.
Randle, a Stanford recruit, fouled out of the game with 57 seconds to play in the first overtime.
Hes our leading scorer so that was a blow, Davis said. We just knew we had to find another way to win. Were more than just Chasson.
The Rocks did just that, in large part because of 6-8 junior Denzel McCauley. The big man blocked Desmond Rushs attempted game-winner at the end of the first overtime and dominated the boards in the second overtime.