Visuals by Kendall Warr
CHIACAGO — Making their 8th appearance in the City Championship game, the perennial powerhouse Simeon Wolverine’s had history on their mind as they were looking to become the first Public League squad to “three-peat” as city champions since Marshall pulled it off from 1959-1961.
The Spartans of Orr who have played their way into elite status by racking up wins vs public league standouts Whitney Young and Uplift this year have some history of their own to consider. Making their first ever appearance in the City Championship game, the west side representers were ready to knock that chip off their shoulder and prove that they belong in the conversation with the city’s top hoop’s programs.
Through 2 quarters both squads went blow for blow in this heavyweight matchup. Simeon’s Kejuan Clements made his presence felt early with 12 first half points. The Bigs #1 ranked hooper, Simeon’s Talen Horton-Tucker was in his bag with 10 points and 8 boards but it was the physical play from Orr’s Raekwon Drake and Dannie Smith that kept the Spartans close in the first half.
But as the saying goes…”big time players make big time plays” and the second half was the Talen Horton-Tucker show. The senior put Simeon on his back in the 3rd quarter and caught fire as he was responsible for 12 straight Simeon points including 3 straight three pointers from NBA range and an and-1 assist to his partner in crime Messiah Jones that effectively put a stranglehold on the lead and the “three-peat” for the Wolverines.
Simeon, who continues to cement their reputation and legacy as a true powerhouse on the high school basketball scene not just locally but nationally as well, added yet another notch too their belt with this 69-59 win over Orr. Horton-Tucker finishing the game with 23pts 9 boards and 3 blocks, steps into a legacy as a Simeon great among the likes of Derrick Rose and Jabari Parker.
Fans can only hope that more Simeon vs Orr matchups are in store in the near future and a new rivalry is born.
Check out this week’s Top 5 Hoopers!
1. Talen Horton-Tucker (Sr- Simeon) – Talow added to his Wolverine legacy as he led Simeon to a 69-59 win over Orr! He scored 23 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and blocked 3 shots en route to a 3rd straight city title. His 3 consecutive 3 pt baskets & assist to Messiah Jones for the And1 in the 3rd quarter opened the game up for Simeon. This is basically his award to lose. Last Weeks Rank – #1
2. Ayo Dosunmu (Sr- Morgan Park) – Ayo scored 22 points but it wasn’t enough as the Mustangs fell to Whitney Young 69-66 on a buzzer beater in the CPS quarterfinal. With the return of Tamell Pearson, MP will definitely make a run for back to back 3A state titles. Don’t forget Dosunmu was injured in last years title game. He’ll be locked and loaded! Last Weeks Rank – #2
3. Javon Freeman (Sr- Whitney Young) – Vonno came up HUGE for Young with 19 points & 9 rebounds in their win over Morgan Park. Freeman had 18 points & 5 rebounds but Simeon was too much for the Dolphins in the CPS final 4 as they lost 64-53. They are the defending 4A champs…let’s see if Vonno can get them back to the promised land. Last Weeks Rank – #3
4. George Conditt (Sr- Corliss) – The 2A playoffs start this week so we’ll see if the big fella can help add some hardware to the Corliss hallways. Last Weeks Rank – #4
5. Xavier Pinson (Sr- Simeon) – The “X-Factor” played a great floor game and had 3 steals in the city championship to help Simeon get the W. He’s so smooth that it almost seems like he’s not going hard. Don’t forget…he comes off the bench! Last Weeks Rank – #5
Knocking At The Door – Dannie Smith (Sr-Orr) Messiah Jones (Sr-Simeon) Adam Miller (So-Morgan Park) Raekwon Drake (Sr-Orr) Chase Adams (Sr-Orr)