Derrick Rose, Simeon upset top-ranked Oak Hill

Simeon guard Derrick Rose blows by Oak Hill guard Nolan Smith on the way to the hoop--Sun-Times photo by Tom Cruze

Originally published Jan. 19, 2007

Derrick Rose, Tim Flowers and Daniel Green grew up together on the South Side, attending Beasley Elementary and Simeon.

Thursday at the UIC Pavilion, the group of friends and teammates shocked the basketball world by defeating defending national champion and USA Today No. 1 Oak Hill Academy (Va.) 78-75 in a game televised live on ESPN.

Derrick Rose staked his case for national player of the year honors, finishing with 28 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.

”Before the game, I said I wanted to make history,” Rose said. ”My mother told me this morning that not even LeBron James or Greg Oden had played on ESPN.”

Devin Hester and Chris Harris of the Bears were among the 3,070 in attendance.

”What a great player,” Hester said. ”I heard he was good, but I didn’t know he was this good. He’s like a Michael Jordan for his team. Not only can he score, he keeps all of his teammates involved.”

The unlikely hero for Simeon (13-2) was Daniel Green, the Wolverines’ sixth man, who drained three three-pointers to finish with 11 points.

”We’ll be talking about this later on,” Rose said. ”It’s something we will laugh about later on.”

A three-point play by Flowers with 4:47 left in the game put Simeon ahead by 15, but Oak Hill (22-1) charged back behind star guard Brandon Jennings, who scored all 19 of his points in the fourth quarter.

Jennings’ three-pointer with seven seconds left cut the lead to 76-72, but Rose drained two free throws a second later to seal the win.

”When I was walking out, I was shaking [the fans’] hands, thanking them for supporting us,” Rose said. ”The whole city came together as a family, and I’m happy for that.”

Senior Kevin Johnson (18 points, 10 rebounds) contributed in the paint and in transition, providing the combination of length and speed that Simeon lacked in last year’s loss to Oak Hill.

”Johnson did a great job of stepping up,” Simeon coach Robert Smith said. ”Our bench players all stepped up and gave us a tremendous lift. That’s why we won the game.”

Flowers finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, and junior Keyon Smith came off the bench to add nine points, four steals and four assists.

”The only thing I hate about coaching at Oak Hill is that you’re expected to win every game,” Oak Hill coach Steve Smith said. ”Simeon is going to beat most teams that come into Chicago.”

Michigan-bound guard Alex Legion led the Warriors with 23 points and nine rebounds.

THE SUMMARY

Oak Hill (Va.) 17 13 13 32–75

Simeon 18 22 12 26–78

Oak Hill (22-1)–Vaughn 3-4 1-4 7, Thompkins 4-5 0-0 9, Legion 9-18 0-0 23, Smith 5-11 1-4 12, Jennings 6-17 3-3 19, Steele 0-0 0-0 0, Anderson 0-0 0-0 0, Boyd 1-2 3-4 5. Total 28-57 8-15 75.

Simeon (13-2)–Flowers 4-7 2-3 10, Johnson 8-17 2-3 18, Hall 0-3 0-0 0, Rose 9-18 8-13 28, Orange 1-4 0-0 2, Smith 4-5 0-0 9, Green 4-9 0-0 11. Totals 30-63 12-19 78.

3-pointers–Oak Hill 11-26 (Legion 5, Jennings 4), Simeon 6-16 (Green 3, Rose 2). Rebounds–Oak Hill 31 (Legion 9), Simeon 40 (Flowers, Johnson 10). Assists–Oak Hill 13 (Smith 8), Simeon 18 (Rose 9). Fouled out–Smith, Jennings. Total fouls–Oak Hill 22, Simeon 14. A–3,070.

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