Simelton leads Oswego past Metea Valley
By Paul Johnson For Sun-Times Media November 20, 2012 9:42PM
Oswego's Devon Zych tries to block the shot of Metea Valley's Bryson Oliver. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 22, 2012 6:28AM
Oswego senior Miles Simelton was on the verge of an individual milestone heading into Tuesday’s Hoops For Healing Tournament game against Metea Valley.
Not only was Simelton able to eclipse the 1,000-point mark for his career, he did so in a game in which the Panthers bounced back from a disappointing season-opening loss to Naperville Central Monday.
Simelton scored a game-high 21 points, a free throw for his fifth point providing point No. 1,000, as the Panthers put up a 64-44 win over Metea.
“I’m no dummy, give the ball to Miles,” Oswego coach Kevin Schnable said. “He’s our guy. It’s just a credit to him in his four years. You don’t score 1,000 points against Metea on a Tuesday night in your senior year. That’s a long haul. It’s been a long process. He’s paid his dues. We’re excited to see what he can do to lead us.”
Metea (0-2) jumped out to a 7-0 lead out of the gates, but Simelton scored the next five points, giving him his milestone and jumpstarting Oswego’s climb back into the game.
“It was a great accomplishment,” Simelton said. “I was happy I was able to do it here. Coach called me up as a freshman and I’ve been piling up the points ever since then, so it’s a really good accomplishment for me.”
The game remained tight until the third quarter. Metea’s Sean Davis hit a leaner to start the half, cutting the Oswego lead to 26-25, but two short jumpers from Elliot McGaughy and eight straight points from Simelton, including a pair of three-pointers, helped Oswego build a 40-29 lead with 4:10 left in the third.
“I think we just came together as a team after we had a few momentum plays,” Simelton said. “I think that’s what broke it open. We were able to keep the lead and keep making stops on defense to open it up.”
Metea faced its second straight difficult opponent in Oswego. The Mustangs lost by 29 to Class 4A state runner-up Proviso East Monday. And it gets no easier against a solid Naperville Central squad Wednesday.
“They’re down,” Metea coach Bob Vozza said. “They expect a lot out of themselves. We’re learning on the fly with a tough schedule. We’re sort of teetering on what kind of team we want to be. Unfortunately, we have good teams that we have to respond against.”
Davis led the Mustangs with nine points. McGaughy added 16 for the Panthers, who played a game more indicative of the way they expect to play this season.
“We’re very pleased with our guys,” Schnable said. “That was a fun one. It’s way too early in the season to hit the panic button, but to turn around that quickly, the credit goes to our kids for playing right tonight.”