Boys basketball: Simeon downs West Aurora in Pontiac tourney final
By Michael O’Brien Sun-Times Media December 29, 2012 11:08PM
Simeon's Jabari Parker fires a shot after passing West Aurora's Jontrel Walker. | Patrick Gleason~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 29, 2012 11:21PM
PONTIAC — West Aurora knew it was facing a massive challenge Saturday against nationally ranked Simeon in the Pontiac Holiday Tournament title game.
It became even more apparent right from the start, as Wolverines star Jabari Parker opened the game with a three and then drained two more in the first quarter. He finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds, leading Simeon to a 60-47 win over the Blackhawks.
“He’s the number two player in the nation, he’s going to do that,” West Aurora’s Chandler Thomas said.
The Blackhawks were able to stay in the game for a half, trailing by just four at the break. Simeon (9-1) opened the third quarter with a 14-2 run and never looked back.
“They just had a hot streak and we weren’t able to recover,” Thomas said. “Everybody new what we were getting into.”
Jaylon Tate, an Illinois recruit, scored 12 points and dished out four assists. Fellow future Illini Kendrick Nunn added 11 points. Fighting Illini coach John Groce was in attendance.
“[The semi against Curie] was intense,” Nunn said. “We were sore and banged up. Seeing [Groce] there gave us some extra energy.”
Josh McAuley, who earned first team all-tournament honors, led the Blackhawks (10-2) with 12 points and five rebounds. Point guard Jontrel Walker added 10 points and three assists.
“I think in the third quarter we just decided to pick it up,” Tate said. “We had been sluggish and I think we may have underestimated them a bit.”
Parker was given the A.C. Williamson award after the game, becoming the first ever three-time winner of the MVP/Sportsmanship honor.