By Michael O'Brien
Not every game is going to be a masterpiece, and Simeons 57-44 win over Morgan Park on Friday certainly wasnt.
As bad as we played we got the win, Simeon coach Robert Smith said. I understood, looking at the schedule, that this was going to be a tough one and I wanted to try and keep the guys from looking ahead to Findlay Prep.
The Wolverines (15-0, 5-0 Red South) play Findlay Prep on Monday in Springfield, Mass. Findlay Prep features seven Division I recruits, and is considered Simeons toughest opponent this season.
Every Simeon game this season has been an event, and Friday was no different, with Mayor Rahm Emanuel in attendance.
The mayor was treated to three quarters of tight play. Simeon junior phenom Jabari Parker was in foul trouble and missed most of the second quarter. The Wolverines led by eight at the half and by just six after three quarters, thanks to a jumper at the third quarter buzzer from Morgan Park junior Billy Garrett Jr.
Simeon opened the fourth with a 14-4 run to seal the win.
Every time Morgan Park plays the world is against us, Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin said. We are ready to compete, we are just young. With Simeon you cant make mistakes, and we missed a few opportunities.
Kendall Pollard scored 10 in the fourth quarter for the Wolverines, he finished with 12 points. Steve Taylor led Simeon with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Parker finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds and Kendrick Nunn scored 11 and grabbed eight rebounds.
Morgan Park played without 6-9 junior Xzavier Taylor, and his absence was monumental. Simeon out-rebounded the Mustangs 38-17. According to Irvin, Taylor has a messed up knee and is likely out until the city playoffs.
They didnt have a big guy to rebound the basketball so we exploited that, Smith said.
Garrett Jr. scored a game-high 21 points for the Mustangs (8-5, 4-1). Sophomore Josh Cunningham added nine points and Dominique Lee scored six.