After Simeon’s last five games it’s hard to believe the last time the Wolverines played in the local area, they lost.
Last week, Simeon demolished Benet in the Pontiac Holiday Tournament championship game. On Saturday, the Wolverines destroyed a highly-regarded Bishop Gorman team in West Virginia. Tuesday, they returned to Chicago and totally dominated host Bogan 73-53 for a major Red-South win.
“I credit it to St. Rita,” said Simeon coach Robert Smith. “That’s who people should be upset with. We’ve been a different team since they beat us. They don’t want to have that feeling again.”
“We hadn’t lost a game in awhile before that. We all got a little complacent, coaches included.”
The complacency is gone. The Wolverines are playing the best basketball in the state and it’s largely due to Edward Morrow. He’s been an unstoppable force in the post. He scored 31 points on Tuesday to go along with 16 rebounds, six dunks and four blocks. He shot 12-for-17 from the field.
Smith inserted senior Armon Benford into the starting lineup after the St. Rita loss. He says Benford is the difference between the current Wolverines and the team that lost to St. Rita.
“We have a point guard on the floor, that’s been our problem,” Smith said. “Armon Benford is running the team.”
Simeon junior Zack Norvell has sparkled since Benford joined the starting lineup. He found a hot shooting touch in Pontiac and West Virginia. He drained one three-pointer at Bogan, but scored in a
variety of ways to finish with 15 points. DJ Williams added eight for the Wolverines (11-1, 5-0, Red South), Isaiah Moss scored seven and Ben Coupet and Benford each scored five.
“(Norvell) asked to guard (Bogan junior) James Jones,” Smith said. “When he gets after it defensively I think it gets his motor running and helps out on the other end of the floor.”
Simeon held Bogan star Luwane Pipkins to 13 points. He shot 5-for-18 from the field. Benford guarded Pipkins the majority of the first half and then a group of Wolverines took over for the rest of the game.
“To be able to stop a player like that you have to put four or five guys on him just to wear him down,” Smith said.
Jones finished with seven points and three rebounds and Antonio Thomas scored 10 and grabbed four rebounds for the Bengals (12-3, 2-2).
Bogan coach Arthur Goodwin said he tried to get the game moved to a different venue. He said Bogan’s court is too small, that Simeon’s length is too much to handle in such cramped quarters.
“We have to find our identity again,” Bogan coach Arthur Goodwin said. “Last year we split with them. I think it’ll be different the second game, especially if we can get them on a bigger floor.”