Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Dec. 2, 2017

Morgan Park's Adam Miller gets an open look for a three point shot as the Mustangs play Champaign Central in the Chicago Elite Classic, December 2, 2017. Allen Cunningham / For the Sun-Times.

Simeon survived a pretty ugly opening game, knocking off St. Louis Chaminade 54-50. Talen Horton-Tucker forced a turnover at half court and Xavier Pinson nailed two free throws to seal  the win.

Horton-Tucker finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Zion Young had 10 points and four rebound and Kejuan Clements scored nine.

Simeon took an uncharacteristically large amount of three pointers and shot 3 for 22 from beyond the arc. Messiah Jones was in foul trouble throughout the game and finished with eight points.

“We’re just a bad team,” Simeon coach Robert Smith said. “It didn’t make a difference if [Jones] was out here or not. We’re just not very good right now.”

Smith pointed out that his team usually plays well in the opener at the Chicago Elite Classic. This will be uncharted territory for the Wolverines, recovering from a rough start.

Saturday’s top games

No. 2 Simeon 54, St. Louis Chaminade 50: St. Louis Vashon 80, No. 4 Young 74: Guard Mario McKinney had 32 points, 15 in the fourth quarter for the Wolverines. The high-flying, strong athletic junior also had 9 boards. He looked like the best player at the event. Javon Freeman scored 22 for Young. Myles Baker added 18 and Keenan Jones scored 12. Best game of the day (so far). Vashon would likely be the top-ranked team if they were in the Chicago area.

Columbus (MS) 54, No. 5 Curie 46: The Condors lose a morning game in Kentucky. Robert Woodard, a 6-6 Mississippi State recruit, scored 22 and had eight rebounds. Curie led at the half but was outscored 17-7 in the third quarter. Maurice Commander made his debut for Curie and led the way with 15 points.

Gray (SC) 80, No. 19 Kenwood 64: RJ McGee scored 25, drained five three-pointers. Nas Turner added 14 points and five boards. Broncos fall to 1-1 . Gray was just too big and too talented for the a very inexperienced Kenwood squad. The Broncos have a lot of guys that can play but will need someone to step up as a dependable scorer this season.

No. 20 DePaul Prep 35, No. 23 Benet 34: The Rams come from behind and win on a game-winning three-pointer from Lance Mosley.

Hillcrest 72, Bloomington 68: Really nice win for the Hawks. They could be Super 25-bound. Jalen Hughes scored 28, Robert Harvey added 18. Freshman Kenton Wright had 7 steals. Chris Payton scored 17 for the Purple Raiders.

Carmel 66, Montini 65: The Corsairs’ nice start to the season continues. Freshman Kimahri Wilson made the game-winning free-throw with 2.7 seconds left.

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