Simeon puts on a show, knocks off Danville

Simeon's Xavier Pinson lays in a shot at the Pontiac tournament against Danville. | Pat Gleason for the Sun-Times

PONTIAC, IL —Simeon didn’t just beat Danville 73-48 in the semifinals of the Pontiac Holiday Tournament on Saturday. The Wolverines put on a high-flying spectacle of domination with eight dunks that included several alley-oops and behind the back passes.

Simeon coach Robert Smith had mixed feelings about all the flair.

“We make a lot of boneheaded plays because they want to hit the home run all the time,” Smith said. “You have to live and die with it. They are making some good plays and they are looking to pass to each other so as long as they are going to guard and play defense I’m fine with it. But we have to be a little smarter about when to do that.”

Wolverines senior Talen Horton-Tucker scored just six points, but seemed to control the play. He had 18 rebounds, eight assists and five blocks.

“Lately Talen has been distributing to other guys,” Smith said. “He’s the focal point and that leaves the other guys open. [Kenny Pittman] made some shots early, it opened the floor for us.”

Messiah Jones scored 15 points for Simeon and Zion Young and Xavier Pinson each added 13.

“[Pinson] stepped up in the first half and probably played the best game he’s had all year,” Smith said.

The Wolverines held Danville star Kendle Moore to 15 points. Caleb Griffin led the Vikings with 18 points and seven rebounds.

Simeon (10-2) played a box-and-one on Moore with Kejuan Clements guarding him in the first half and Bakari Simmons in the second.

“That wasn’t a bad team we just beat,” Smith said. “If they were in Chicago they’d be a top five team.”

The Wolverines will face Curie in the title game at 9 p.m. on Saturday.

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