performance in the Class 4A Thornton Sectional title game featured the vexing, tenacious defense they employed all season, only cranked up a notch. It featured an offense that, even as various Wolverines hung on East Suburban Catholic Player of the Year Morgan Taylor like a cape, got the job done so well that Marist held a 10-point lead aftera David Daniels' jam with 9:27 remaining in the game.
in the super-sectional title contest against defending champion Whitney Young, in a rematch of last year's Class 4A championship game? By never getting ruffled by Marist's passionate play. By playing with the quiet assurance and belief that their own brilliance would, at some point, make the difference.
(29-3) rallied to beat the RedHawks by outscoring Marist 26-11 in those last nine-and-a-half minutes. Simeon didn't commit a turnover during that decisive stretch. However resolute Marist had been, Simeon matched their effort – then raised it – proving themselves the top-ranked team in Illinois for at least one more night.
team that bonded in every cliched Hollywood cliche, only in reality.
nine points in his final highs school game. "The practices were fun times. Last year, we had all experienced players. This year, all the players were inexperienced, but the guys stepped in and played their role well. I appreciate these last two years a lot. We tried to set the foundation for the team coming in."
dded Daniels, who finished with 12 points and seven boards in his last game as a RedHawk. "It was pretty much from the start. Some of us didn't know each other, but first practice and right after, we were clicking."
of Taylor, Ellison and Daniels, Marist coach Gene Nolan will really miss. The group's chemistry, and the foundation of a help-out defense that leaned on a 3-2 zone that Simeon took the better part of three quarters to solve, will also be missed.
the Wolverines, paced by Iowa State-bound Talen Horton-Tucker's 17 points, took brief leads of one and then two points in the first half.
s tied at 23 at the intermission and Marist, on baskets by Taylor, Dorion Pendleton (nine points) and Ellison in the first two-and-a-half minutes of the third quarter, again ran out to a lead. The advantage reached 37-27 on the aforementioned Daniels dunk, for which the Marist faithful in Thornton's iconic gym went crazy.
n Simeon coach Robert Smith turned the vise and ordered a press. Between that, a trio of 3-pointers by Kejuan Clements (12 points) and a pair of timely baskets by Messiah Jones helped the Wolverines overcome the deficit and escape.
has faced this season has left the gym saying the same thing.
Marist 61, Homewood-Flossmoor 47
The RedHawks earned their date with Simeon by running over a very good Homewood-Flossmoor team in the sectional semifinals on Wednesday, March 7. Marist's 3-2 zone stymied the Vikings, who turned out to be the scheme's final victim of the 2017-18 season.
id teams this season have so much trouble solving Marist's, which contributed to H-F's 24 turnovers.
3-2," said Jack Ellison, one of the main cogs. "We move guys around, keep flying them around. That's what the coaches emphasize the most. That's what confuses teams a lot. It's just a different look."
and Morgan Taylor had 20, and H-F had no answer for the one-two punch. The Vikings (21-7) had Issac Stanback, who scored 23 points, but no one else hit double figures.