Magnificent Talen Horton-Tucker performance leads Simeon into state title game

Talen Horton-Tucker (5) of Simeon gets a fast break against Bolingbrook. Worsom Robinson/ For the Sun-Times.

PEORIA—The recruiting experts have drooled over Simeon junior Talen Horton-Tucker for the past two seasons. His size and skills are eye-popping and unique. The 6-5 junior has a Charles Barkley type game and body, which is not the type of comparison regularly applied to high school players.

All of those qualities were on display in the Wolverines 60-50 win against Bolingbrook in the Class 4A State Semifinals on Friday.

Horton-Tucker finished with 24 points, six rebounds and six assists.

“I just keep going at them,” Horton-Tucker said. “It doesn’t matter who is guarding us.”

Bolingbrook led 26-21 at the half. Simeon slowed things down and forced the Raiders (29-2) into several half-court possessions in the third and changed the pace of the game.

“We noticed on film they weren’t a good half court team,” Simeon coach Robert Smith said. “We did a great job of handling their pressure and then was able to slow them down. I thought we were able to do that for about six minutes.”

Horton-Tucker didn’t just score. He created most of the Wolverines’ offensive opportunities in the second half. Messiah Jones was dominant in the post, he helped give Simeon an 11-rebound advantage in the second half.

“I thought the fans got what they wanted to see. Great, high intensity basketball,” Smith said. “It was probably like a mid-major college basketball game and not a high school game.”

Jones finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds and senior Evan Gilyard added 15 points. He was 7-for-8 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

Horton-Tucker seemed to raise his level of play to take on Bolingbrook’s strong 6-6 senior Malik Binns.

“[Horton-Tucker] is a good athlete,” Binns said. “I played him a couple times before. He’s better then last time. We went at each other, it was more of a physical game.”

Binns finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. Nebraska recruit Nana Akenten led the Raiders with 16 points and sophomore Joseph Yesufu scored nine.

“We are one of the best teams in the state,” Bolingbrook coach Rob Brost said. “We believed it right from the get go. We weren’t content at halftime to be up. From a skill standpoint we are as a good as they are. From an athleticism standpoint we are as good as they are.”

Simeon will play Young for the Class 4A state championship on Saturday. The Wolverines beat the Dolphins in the regular season and in the Public League playoffs.

Smith broke with typical coaching traditions and actually talked to his team about the possibility of playing Young a few days ago.

“I wanted them to start thinking about it,” Smith said. “It’s very difficult to beat a team that good three times in a season. We have to come out like it is the first time.”

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50 comments

  • Whitney young student

    We don’t want nobody trying to hop on our bandwagon we don’t like people like that . We ride alone

  • Lee

    That’s 4 Craig s. Siller

  • Lee

    But Mp has an easier road to the ship!!!!!

  • Lee

    Simeon lost!!

  • Im a simeon Auntie

    Thanks Straight outta BB, I had fun with you!
    Check my sign for you out on tweeter! Someone got a good pic of me with it!

  • West sub fan

    Please don’t blame the coach or the Refs FAM !!
    Simeon outplayed the Brook
    They where way less selfish and played together better as a team !
    Enjoy the uber ride to the consolation game

  • Coach Don

    Malik Binns should’ve had more touches in this game..Bolingbrook guards were just trying to score and failed to create for their teammates..They can drive but throw up wild shots instead of passing. Demari Grant should’ve played more…He’s a lil smaller but he’s confident with his handle and plays unselfish….

    • Coach LB

      I agree the guards did get out of control but that is where the coach has to evaluate and take control. They got to stop dribbling into traffic and Binns did need more touch but I thought NaNa should have been more aggressive and allow the game to come to him. But they are young men who will learn from this and with the experience from this will make them better players. But over all I was proud of them. Their future looks bright.

  • Lee

    Mp can beat anyone and i believe they should be playing 4a…..just my opinion

  • Lee

    Bolingbrook guards play GREEDY pass the F,, ,ing ball!!! Brost has no control….won’t do anything about it…they play reckless

  • Craig S. Siller

    CPS could win 3 out of 4 state championships​. Not bad.

  • Just the Facts

    Raiders made Simeon elevate their game to new heights and employ the help of the zebras in order to beat them even while missing a starter. From what I saw WY bout to get swept off the court. They should do the honorable thing and take the 3rd place trophy and let the 2nd best team take the 2nd place trophy.

    • Mike

      That’s an excuse….Simeon is a better Team with a better Coach. Bolingbrook would’ve been better prepared. If they played a tougher schedule, they may have been able to make adjustments!

      • Lee

        Team is just as good…Coach sucks…schedule has nothing to do with it…..wether or not the coach make the right adjustment is the problem cause the Brook had enough talent…..

        • Mike

          The coach didn’t miss layups or turn the ball over. Strength of schedule has a lot to do with it, because it ads experience. If you see it in Dec and Jan, you are less likely to make the same mistakes in March. Also the coach himself would learn something about his team early!

        • Whitney young student

          I wish we would of played Bolingbrook they would of gave us a better game

      • Whitney young student

        Bolingbrook would of gave us a better game u are wrong about Bolingbrook mike

  • Shaun beasley

    @straight outta Bolingbrook, oh now you gonna with Simeon Saturday huh. Funny as heck after talking bout how Bolingbrook gonna fold Simeon up like a folding chair, looks like y’all the ones that got folded. Now you wanna jump on the bandwagon talkin bout you from the south so you gotta rep the Southside, shoulda been repping the Southside regardless were you move to. Lmao!

    • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

      I represented Bolingbrook because my son is on the team . I was trash talking that’s all that was . U just came out of hiding when Simeon won !!!!!! You not a true fan at all. AUNTIE from SIMEON the ONLY TRUE fan on this page. Where was you at for the last few days. I guess you was hiding it is You JUMPING on the BANDWAGON. Of course I’m representing OUT SOUTH cuz that’s where I’m from . My son play for Bolingbrook so as a father I’m gone represent my son where ever he at ya DIG. You gone jump in when the game over with where was u at oh you didn’t want to say anything at first but now u think it’s cool for you to make a comment hold your comments because u been keeping your comments in your pocket since day 1. Don’t come out of hiding hold your comments and all these other NEW people I never heard of where was y’all at when ME and Auntie was going at it y’all was in the LOST and FOUND 📦 box . That’s why I say Auntie you a TRUE FAN the rest of lames just scared little people cuz they only represent they team when they winning b a TRUE FAN at all times. I was gone chill but I had to come Back for lil shaun cuz u don’t know what u talking about period so stick to doing what u do best stay on the side lines until the game over with like u been doing. If u got HATE in your blood it’s all good. I hate no team Simeon good team and all the young boys who played at others schools good job guys . I just needed to check Shaun trying to get a laugh off me NO Good partner don’t affect me I’m a trash talker so I DO this no feelings involved never personally just Business at game time so Shaun maybe one day u will stop hiding around the corner wondering is it cool to come outside fall back shorty . I leave as I came in the vision of the Bolingbrook Raiders 🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀

      • Shaun beasley

        First of all I don’t hide around the corner from no one never had never will, let’s get that straight an formmost.second, I’m from the southside played football Calumet h.s! And I root for any city school public league or even Catholic league, thats downstate repping the chi. I’m talking trash just like the next, but you ain’t check nobody, beleive that!You said your son plays for the brook. So man to man congrats to your son and his team for getting down there period. I can relate as a father of 4 Boyz! And a jr.tackle football coach. Cause we from the chi, but we moved are boys to sterling (IL). My two oldest played at Sterling h.s. they both in college football and wrestling schalorships, my 8th grader gonna be a freshman there. My youngest 6th grader in middle school. And they all played some Chicago teams through middle school and highschool football and basketball, and wrestling, my to oldest played against whtney young, curie, on the h.s level in football. My 14 yr old 6’1 240 plays Jr tackle football and plays basketball ball, we’ve scrimmaged against sum pop Warner teams, and played in sum basketball summer camps in Chicago. Like you I roots for mines, but I let them know them city schools from the chi can ball. Also. Again! Congrats to your son, but you can keep that energy thinking you checked sumbody to yourself. Cause you ain’t check no one. And ain’t no one hiding.

  • Coach LB

    Bolingbrook deserves congratulations on a great season. Simeon was a better prepared team. I believe they were just out coach. Coach Brost
    Did not no what to do when the young guard Joseph got raddle and when Simeon switch to a box and one on NaNa. As a coach you must have your team prepare for all type of defense and trust your bench. That is something they must improve on going forward. Simeon just execute and made the adjustment they need to win this ball game. But Bolingbrook from a former Romeville Spartan basketball player I’m proud of you young men. Go and bring the 3rd place trophy back to the Brook.

  • Vashon

    “From a skill standpoint we are as good as they are. From an athleticism standpoint we are as good as they are.” Yup. Unfortunately Brost was in way over his head against Smith. Bolingbrook didn’t have an offense. Their coach is severely incompetent.

  • Vashon

    Congrats to Bolingbrook for great run. They a great transfer class this year. Unfortunately they came up one position short. A coach. Mayve this spring/summer a competent coach will transfer in. Does the IHSA allow coaches to transfer?

    • Whitney young student

      Vashon who is your team cuz why don’t u like Bolingbrook I wish we would of played them Simeon think they are a NBA not at

  • CP3

    Congrats to to Simeon & Whitney Young both. Bolingbrook & Fremd both worthy Final Four teams. Gonna be a hrlluva,game tmrw.

    • Norm

      If Evanston ever wants to make it to Peoria it’s going to have to go through a top quality city team. They need to find a way to prepare for that level of play. Traveling around at Christmas time to play out of state teams was worthless. Those teams didn’t play the defense WY played in the SS. Evanston was dominated in that game. It was only because of Nojel that it was a game at all. The whole team had 28 points outside of him. That schedule did nothing to prepare them. They need to get into Pontiac or find some way to be able to understand the level of competition they will need to beat to get downstate

  • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

    Congratulations to Simeon
    Good game Wolverines

    Hey Auntie,
    Simeon won and I congratulate them and you for being a true fan .

    • HoopDreams

      Should be an interesting set of games tomorrow…..the 2 best teams in the final and the next 2 best teams playing for 3rd place

    • Im a Simeon Auntie

      Aw nah….all the stuff you talked!!!! I was looking for you I made a posterboard for you and everything!

      But Im not gone petty…..
      Yes I am……YOUSHOULDVEBEENAWOLVERINE

      Just kiddin Thank You, I appreciate that!

      • Straight OUTTA BOLINGBROOK

        Hey Auntie,
        I’m riding with Simeon tomorrow cuz I have to represent OUT SOUTH. I live in Bolingbrook now but I’m from the WILD 100’s so I got to represent them young brothers from the SOUTH SIDE ya know.
        Well I’m gone and you b cool Auntie 😎

    • Mike

      I still want that tissue you promised….But I told you, one ball handler, a marginal shooter and an undersized post player wasn’t gonna beat Simeon. But they do have nice uniforms! Good luck in the consolation game.

  • Im a Simeon Auntie

    Excuses….excuses…….but good came!

  • West sub fan

    Fam fam Fam
    Bowlingbrook had a great year and will win tomorrow
    But no uber needed

  • Spartan Nation

    Straight OUTTA Bolingbrook! Where you at??? Lol

  • Just the Facts

    Obviously it took 10 Wolverines and 3 poor refs to beat the Raiders. But thats okay real recognize real Simeon is a great team and that was the championship game.

  • Sally

    Malik Binns picked wrong school to transfer this time should have stayed at Morgan Park or Hope Academy would have had better chance at winning state. Or why not Simeon since he school hopped anyways.

    • Vashon

      This just in, at the same exact time Bolingbrook lost tonight the Binns family moved for the fifth time in four years. This time to the city. The Binns kid just transferred to Simeon.

      • Whitney young student

        Why would you pick on Binns he is a student like me and a good ball player. I wish we could of played Bolingbrook because Simeon fans think Simeon are the Chicago bulls or something when mike was there I don’t think so . Stop picking on Binns he is a student and you are a grown man. Come on man pick on someone your own age.

    • Juswatchin

      Until Morgan Park decide to grind through a 4a playoff…..There Championships means nothing!!!

      • Craig S. Siller

        That’s just ridiculous. They have proven time and time again that they can beat anyone in any class.

    • Whitney young student

      Leave Binns alone sally from the alley

    • Whitney young student

      Please he is a student leave Binns alone

    • Whitney young student

      Sally why are u worried about Binns ? You should b wondering how you gone pay your light bill. I seen them candles u had burning the other night

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