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Boys Basketball: Simeon knocks off Marist

Playing against three-time defending state champion Simeon is a much a state of mind as a physical contest of wills.

Marist knows that as well as anybody. Simeon ended Marist’s magical season last year with a 65-44 victory in the Class 4A Argo Sectional. The teams could meet Friday at Mount Carmel if both advance past regional semifinal opponents.

In a tuneup for the state tournament, the RedHawks fought valiantly though they could not match Simeon’s size, speed and athleticism.Simeon ran past Marist 69-43 in the City-Suburban Showdown at the House of Hoops on Saturday night.

Jabari Parker and Kendrick Nunn scored 21 points apiece to lead the Wolverines (23-3).

Senior guard L.J. McIntosh scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half to lead the RedHawks (17-10).

“They’re so big and long. One time I went to shoot the ball and I couldn’t even see the basket,” McIntosh said.

Nunn drilled four three-pointers in shooting a scintillating 9-of-11 from the field. Parker had 21 points and nine rebounds on 9-of-15 shooting. Simeon used 10-0 and 9-0 flourishes to lead 30-16 at the break.

“We played them last year and we know what they like to do,” Simeon coach Robert Smith said. “That Princeton offense is one of the toughest offenses to guard against, especially at the high school level. We spent a lot of time watching film of them, and I even watched Georgetown play against Syracuse and Syracuse had success with its 2-3 zone.”

Marist guard Lexus Williams scored 13 of his 16 points in the first half.

Simeon forced the RedHawks to bomb away from the outside. Marist attempted 31 three-pointers and made just nine.

Still, Marist hung around as McIntosh recovered from his 0-of-7 shooting start. He scored all 11 of his team’s points in the fourth quarter. He drilled two three-pointers at the start of the fourth quarter to narrow the margin to 51-38.

“It just seemed like every time we got close, Kendrick would hit a three or Jabari would score,” McIntosh said. “We were excited to play this game, and we just make a good showing.”

Marist junior Nic Weishar had 12 points and six rebounds in the sectional game last year. He has missed the entire season recovering from a football injury.

“I take away the positives of the game,” Marist coach Gene Nolan. “We had nine offensive rebounds and they had 11, a differential of two, and that’s impressive given the size advantage they had on us.

“We didn’t shoot as well as we wanted and we had stretches, like in the second quarter, where we needed to make more shots. Simeon’s a great team, very well-coached, and you saw that tonight.”

Morty Berglind had five points for the RedHawks, who need to get past a talented Hyde Park team in order to meet Simeon in a possible regional final.



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