By Mike Helfgot, Special to the Tribune
February 11, 2013
Just once in its current streak of three consecutive IHSA Class 4A championships did Simeon also win the Public League title.
The 2013 Public League brackets are Exhibit A for the case that winning city can be more difficult than winning state.
After dispatching of Red South rival Bogan 59-49 Sunday in the quarterfinals at Chicago State, the Wolverines will have to go through No. 2 Morgan Park and either No. 3 Orr or No. 4 Young to win their second straight city championship.
"It is going to be tough to win both of them (city and state)," Simeon coach Robert Smith said. "We have to play these same teams again. A bunch of the same teams are in our regional or sectional.
"This is one of the tougher city championships we've been through in a while. You've probably got the four best teams about to play now."
Dayton-bound forward Kendall Pollard led a balanced Simeon attack with 14 points, and he also held high-scoring sophomore Luwane Pipkins (14 points) of Bogan (16-9) to just two field goals.
Jabari Parker scored 10 of his 13 points in the first half as Simeon (22-2) built a 30-22 lead and cruised to a rematch with Morgan Park on Wednesday.
Simeon's 53-51 victory over the Mustangs on Jan. 16 was marred by an altercation in the postgame handshake line.
"We're not worried about that," Smith said. "That is past all of our players and coaches. We're just going to be here to play, and hopefully fans will be here to watch a basketball game."
Parker said he was not bothered by Morgan Park guard Kyle Davis' recent comments about Parker playing "nervous" at the end of games.
"I don't care about that," Parker said. "I'm on the wall already. Not many guys can fit my size 16s. Me and Kyle are always going to be friends. We played AAU together. It is nothing personal.
"We are just going to approach it like a normal game. We approach every team like they're good. We're not trying to build enemies. We're just trying to play basketball and win games."
Player of the game: Kendall Pollard, Simeon, 14 points, 3 blocked shots
Key performers: Simeon – Jabari Parker 13 points, 10 rebounds. Kendrick Nunn 13 points. Bogan – Juwan Henry 15 points.
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