Simeon wipes out Edwardsville, is heading back to Peoria

Simeon's Evan Gilyard backs the ball back out against Edwardsville. Worsom Robinson/ For the Sun-Times.

NORMAL—Edwardsville has been the talk of the state this season. The Tigers arrived at the Class 4A Illinois State Supersectional with a 30-1 record and the leading candidate for Mr. Basketball, senior Mark Smith.

The game against Simeon had been hyped as the possible state championship game, but it certainly didn’t turn out that way. The Wolverines dominated from the start and won 76-64. Simeon heads to state for the tenth time in the past 14 years.

“We just knew if we kind of contained [Smith] that we’d probably be good,” Simeon coach Robert Smith said. “Make those other guys do some stuff they are not used to doing.”

Smith finished with 12 points. He was 4-for-13 from the field and didn’t score in the fourth quarter. The Wolverines used a box-and-one defense on him.

“We know he likes to put up shots and he controls everything so we just stayed focused on him,” Smith said. “I think we did a great job on him.”

Simeon led 24-15 after the first quarter and 44-27 at half. The Wolverines were red-hot from three-point range in the first half and also got to the rim with ease.

“Watching them on film they didn’t really guard well because they only play five or six people,” Smith said. “So they didn’t want to get in foul trouble. We just wanted to attack the goal as much as possible and see we could get people in foul trouble or make some layups.”

Edwardsville cut Simeon’s lead to eight early in the fourth quarter. Wolverines senior Evan Gilyard, as he has so many times before, stepped up and took control of the game at that point. He scored 17 in the fourth to finish with a game-high 32.

“It was one of my best games,” Gilyard said. “I got teammates involved and just waited my turn. We have multiple people who can score. It’s not like Edwardsville where they have one person that can really score. Everyone on the team can fill it up, can score 20. We have multiple weapons.”

Sophomore guard Kejuan Clements scored 14 for Simeon (29-3) and Messiah Jones added 16 points and 10 rebounds.

“[Clements] was key,” Smith said. “They left him open. He can shoot the ball as well so that’s just a luxury when you have five guys out there that can score.”

Senior big man AJ Epenesa scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Oliver Stephen added 16 and Jack Marinko added 13 points.

“I don’t know if many other teams can beat them,” Smith said. “They can shoot the ball very well they are well coached, they have some people inside who can play. They are a balanced team. We just started off quick and hit them with the first punch.”

The Wolverines will face Bolingbrook in the state semifinals on Friday at Carver Arena in Peoria.

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36 comments

  • Shaun beasley

    @straight outta Bolingbrook! Hey big mouth what happened? Your mouth wrote a check it couldn’t cash. I thought y’all were gonna fold Simeon up like folding chairs! Looks like y’all the ones that got folded. You don’t understand, this chi town, the city, home of the best ballers! Simeon 6 time state champ going on 7. If they beat city rival Whitney young another public league team. Either way the 4a title is coming back to the city. While y’all gotta play for 3rd. Orr h.s won 2a state title, Morgan park from the public league is playing g in the 3a title game, and Simeon and Whitney young both from the public league are playing in the 4a title game. Don’t go running your mouth about the cities finest especially when Simeon got more tradition on there fingernails than Bolingbrook ever has in there entire existence. Ay but don’t worry you ain’t the only hater that hates to see city schools especially Simeon, but here’s a secret, city schools don’t care who likes them or not, it’s them against the world attitude they have, that’s why they stay hungry and grimy cause they want that and they grind hardest than the next to get it! But don’t worry 3rd place looks good on y’all. Lol

  • […] star Alonzo Verge in the Class 4A Thornwood Sectional final on Friday, March 10. Earlier this week, Simeon limited Edwardsville star Mark Smith, who is the frontrunner to win Mr. Basketball later this month. Smith finished with 12 points and […]

  • JD the scholar

    Simeon scholar. Let’s keep it real. Simeon is one of the best, if not the best teams on the hardwood. All of the players on the team are legit and they can ALL BALL🏀. Why do people get upset when greatness is apparent? Messiah, Evan, Talen, Kezo, Twon, Bakari – shall I continue? GREATNESS!!

    • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

      Dig this here little scholar Simeon overrated and been overrated all year . Those 3 games they lost cuz they not what you think fam. Wit Bolingbrook This Ain’t That Fam No Good lil scholar. Simeon had nice team with Nick and Ben and Rose and Parker but this team ain’t no where as good as them teams those guys had.
      I know Real hoopers when I see them and this team in 2017 wack fam !!! The Brook gone fold them boys up like some lawn chairs. The Brook the Business fam and I can stamp that !!! Your paragraph sound good to a lamer but can’t feed me that script no good lil scholar. You know what it is !!!! Simeon will b taking a L on Friday lil scholar Real Talk fam. Like I said this Ain’t that Fam fo real. Bolingbrook whole Hoop squad can hoop so I don’t have to use names of players I just say whole team cuz dem young men Taking Care of Business !!!!!!
      So just chill , relax, and b calm when Simeon take this L on Friday cuz that’s all u can do just go back in the gym and tell Simeon to work on their game for 2018
      I’m out fam it’s been I ain’t got nothing else to say u know what it is !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • David R.

    Tell Auntie it would just be nice if Simeon would play by IHSA rules, instead of suiting up ineligible kids! A kid moves to NJ then comes back here to during the same school year. VIOLATION! Now they have the kid wearing a jersey number assigned to another kids name! I smell CHEATERS!

    • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

      What up Dave – I think Auntie sleep 😴 I’ve been telling her all day to take a nap and she did for a hot second got back up got her blood pressure back up 400 over 80 so I think she took my advice and took a nap. I hope she fall asleep for the rest of the night cuz she need a good night sleep 😴 nite nite Auntie holla at you in the AM dueces ✌️

    • Mike

      Learn the rules hater!!!

    • JD the scholar

      Come on David, let’s keep it real mane. I bet you were the dude on the team that never got off the bench. You wouldn’t know the rules if I handed them to you. HAVE SEVERAL SEATS, SEE YOU SATURDAY WHEN WE TAKE IT ALL.😅😅😅

      • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

        Lil scholar just chill Simeon wack dog !!! This ain’t that u still don’t get it do you. But Friday u will see that L Simeon take. If u sit next to Auntie I’m gone tell one of guys to get y’all a BIG BOX 📦 of TISSUE for dem tears 😭 fall back back lil scholar b cool fam I know it ain’t EASY to take a L but thats how the dice roll lil dude.

  • DJ

    TALK IS CHEAP……..7 STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS….ENOUGH SAID……#SIMEON#

    • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

      DJ u getting into your feelings I know take it easy Simeon got some state titles but they won’t b taking one back home Friday. NO GOOD BUDDY that trophy going back to the Brook trophy case. Check it out right I’m gone get you and Simeon and Auntie some tissue from Aldi I’m not getting tissue from Jewel not spending money on y’all like that y’all don’t deserve it
      Ask auntie if she got a blood pressure pill cuz u need one have a seat and take a deep breath it’s gone b alright. U talk Jazzy a little bit better than auntie water 💦 down comments. Everythang cool fam just relax and watch the NCAA tournament tomorrow cuz it’s over wit FOR SIMEON ya DIG👍🏾

  • Im a simeon Auntie

    Make up yall mind was it Tuesday’s Sup Sec vs Edwardsville that was suppose to be the Championship game or this one v Bolingbrook! Gezzzz let us be GREAT!

    • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

      Auntie chill u talking out the side of your neck don’t nobody understand what u talking about PLEASE get some rest and take your blood pressure medicine

  • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

    What’s up with Auntie she tripping
    She should relax and chill before her blood pressure go up. Auntie is gone b ok just relax when Simeon lose it’s all good you still got next year.

    • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

      Just like Simeon coach said- just cuz you got Simeon across your jersey don’t mean nothing.
      They coach know what he talking about.
      Rob even know the Business Auntie so just chill and take a nap u got out your body get some rest.

  • Spartan Nation

    Simeon might have the toughest game of the night on Friday! I’ve been going to Peoria since I was was 9 years old (2002), and if the city teams, Morgan Park and Whitney Young, roll to victories earlier in the day, there can be a lottttt against Simeon. Fenwick, another Chicago area team, winning on Friday wouldn’t help either. But the Simeon vs. Bolingbrook game will be the best game of the day for sure. I just hope there aren’t any interferences and they let the boys play. Wow Saturday’s championship games can be Fenwick vs. Morgan Park and the same 2010 match up of Whitney Young vs. Simeon. lol The arena was emptyyyy that night.

  • Im a simeon Auntie

    Congrats Wolverines on a well played game! We are on the #road2state.

  • Im a simeon Auntie

    It wasn’t that Edwardsville played scared they were shocked. They couldn’t believe what was happening, see when you dont see the Wolverines play at there best you assume you are the best because of your rankings……No these are the playoffs, we not playing with these teams. We here and we are coming for bodies!!!!😂😉

    • Simeon fan

      Bolingbrook is a tough team
      Like Simeon coach said just because your jersey says Simeon across the front don’t mean anything
      I give those kids from Bolingbrook credit they good

      • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

        Thank you Simeon fan
        For that compliment
        I see u know Real Ballers when u see them🏀

    • Bolingbrook Raiders fan

      Well come on we ready but it won’t b no bodies over here. We the only team in the state taking care of Business. With a 29-1 record. We been on business just relax til u see thes Raiders GO TO WORK. We on business. Proper preparation prevents poor performance !!!!!!!!!!

      • Im a simeon Auntie

        Record…..so amateur! You hv no idea just like rankings that means not a thing at this point! Dont let these scouting reporters send yall off like they did Edwardsville!

      • Im a simeon Auntie

        Oh and I hv saw them at full strength. It was cute!

        • Bolingbrook Raiders fan

          Baby girl auntie- your quotes are cute who ghost writes for you . It’s gone b ugly baby girl when Bolingbrook Lay THEIR LIC DOWN FRIDAY !!!!!!
          It’s gone b UGLY not CUTE at ALL
          Them Bolingbrook Guys are Beast on that floor
          Fall back baby girl . It’s gone get too hot in the kitchen for Simeon . Bolingbrook on 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 and they taking care of Business.

  • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

    Good job Bolingbrook Raiders
    🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀 lets go to Peoria and finish these teams off !!!!!!! And bring that 1st place trophy 🏆 back to the Brook .

  • Coach Mike

    Heading to p town for my 30th trip to the state finals. Always go to large schools. Exciting times, but attendance will be low. Fremd will bring the most fans but I agree with leggs 1. Friday night game 2 appears to be the main event. We’ll see.

  • Leegs1

    I thought edwardsville played scared. Could be an all Chicago final. I liked Young all year. That Fremd game must have been like watching paint dry! Fremd might have a chance if they keep the score below forty, but I don’t see that happening. May have won their last game of the season. Morgan park, lanphier should be a good one. hope it’s a lanphier, Bloomington final. Exciting times!

    • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

      Can’t no team in Illinois run with The Brook
      The Raiders will b going to the Championship and win state. I’ll b glad when they do so everybody will feel some type of way lol 😂Them young men playing excellent ball 🏀

      • Imknownbyu

        Simeon behind their Serior guard Evan Gilyard are very tough to beat and WILL WIN STATE!!!

        • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

          Come on now Uncle u sound like Auntie
          Fall back Unc. And just calm down. I know it might b hard on you when Simeon lose but hey like I said y’all still got next year so just PUMP YOUR BRAKES THIS YEAR !!!!! Recognize Real Ballers when y’all see them🏀

          • Im a simeon Auntie

            😂😂😂😂 Man please you commenting on every article. On everybody post trying to convince somebody of the foolery. Let the boys play it out.

          • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

            We know u a Simeon auntie Fall back u tried to talk hard in your comments say y’all coming for bodies yeah right ! Simeon soft and your comments are all water 💦 down . Just chill take another NAP Auntie u sound sleepy. Get some rest and get some glasses 👓 for Friday game.

          • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

            I’m on the heels 👠 on anybody who get out there body about The BROOK. Auntie I’m glad u fell asleep 😴 please don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk.
            The Bolingbrook Raiders on Business with a IRON 👊🏾 FIST.

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