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D.J. Williams makes statement as Simeon tops rival Morgan Park

Every time D.J. Williams scored, every time he stepped to the free-throw line, he heard the name he doesn’t like.

Simeon’s roster lists him as Dennis Williams, so that’s what the announcer at the Chi-Town Conference Showdown at Young called him all game long on Sunday.

“I asked [Simeon assistant coach Fred Scofield] to change it to D.J. at the beginning of the season,” Williams said. “I guess I’m going to have to ask him again.”

It didn’t faze the 6-7 Illinois recruit as he scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the No. 2 Wolverines to a 71-66 win over No. 3 Morgan Park.

Williams shot 6-for-10 from the field and scored seven consecutive points to open the fourth quarter.

“That’s how he’s been all spring and summer,” Simeon coach Robert Smith said. “We were just waiting for that to carry over. This is where you have to show up.”

Every Illinois recruit is heavily scrutinized and it’s been the same with Williams. Sunday’s performance in front of a sold-out crowd in The Battle of Vincennes will start to quiet the critics.

Edward Morrow was every bit as crucial for Simeon (3-0, 2-0 Red-South). The 6-7 senior had 15 points, 16 rebounds and six blocks. He singlehandedly kept Morgan Park’s guards from having free reign on their attacks of the rim.

Marcus LoVett impressed in his first major Public League game. The California transfer scored a game-high 29 points and grabbed five rebounds. He shot 12-for-25 in the game.

“Bright Lights did good,” Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin said. “He showed the state that he can play some basketball.”

Charlie Moore scored 11 for the Mustangs (2-2, 0-1) and Jamal Burton added nine points and 12 rebounds. Morgan Park was just 1-for-17 from 3-point range.

“Our length got to them,” Smith said. “That was the gameplan. Not to give them any space to shoot. We knew Lovett and Charlie [Moore] were going to shoot a lot.”

The entire Morgan Park team wore white t-shirts that read “We Need A Gym!” during warmups.

Morgan Park currently has one of the smaller gyms in the Public League, with a capacity of under 200. It was odd to see the city’s premier South Side rivalry take place on the West Side.

“We don’t like coming up here to the north to play this game,” Irvin said. “Our students couldn’t come, our band can’t come. We need someone to step up and help us out.”

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