Despite national losses, Simeon still the team to beat in Chicago

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Despite national losses, Simeon still the team to beat in Chicago

The Simeon Wolverines have already lost two games this season. Both losses came on national television and one of those defeats came in embarrassing fashion. Since opening the December month later than most teams, the three-time, Class 4A Illinois state champions have looked nothing like the dominant squad many have become accustomed to seeing.

That being the case, it stands to reason that the losses especially the 29-point drubbing at the hands of Montverde have given local teams confidence that the Wolverines can be beaten just dont tell them that.

Im pretty sure theres a few teams thinking they can beat us right now. If I watched the game on TV, Id feel good about myself on winning too, head coach Robert Smith said. But at the end of the day, everybody that knows me and what Im about and what I do, they know well get it together.

Simeon took out a bit of their anger and frustration from the Montverde loss on Perspectives-Calumet Wednesday night, blowing them out by a final score of 68-39.

Jabari Parker continued to work himself back into elite status as the senior put up 26 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks in the victory.

Though the win over Perspectives was expected. The real test comes later this season when the Wolverines will square off against the likes of Whitney Young, Morgan Park and other top-tier Public League programs; schools that feel like they may have a shot at knocking off the champs.

The competition in the city, theyre no pushovers, Dayton commit Kendall Pollard explained. Weve still got to deal with Whitney Young and Morgan Park. Theyve seen us get our butts kicked on national TV Whitney Young was there against Montverde. So Im sure they think they can get us, but I dont think they can.

The games against nationally ranked teams that weve played so far, just prepares us for the local teams, the Duke-bound Parker said. Yeah, weve lost, but now were basing all our practices and games as preparation for what well have to face in the city. A couple of more practices and I think well be ready. I think well be back blowing the other top teams out and well make our presence felt in the city.

University of Illinois commit, Kendrick Nunn, echoed his senior teammates sentiments.

Locally, I think we should handle those games pretty well. Im not worried about any of those teams beating us, but you still have to be humble about it and just play hard. Always play hard.

Past success breeds confidence, but confidence can also be instilled by a strong leader. The Wolverines seem to get their confident attitude from their head coach who has pretty much seen it all and knows what his team is capable of, even if it doesnt appear to be that way on the surface.

When it comes down to those last games when its win or go home theres been no better team than us, Smith said. As the season goes on we start to figure things out. But were still the champs and if people dont think that or understand who we are or what we are, then theyre sadly mistaken. At the end of the day, were still Simeon.

AP Illinois Girls Basketball Rankings: Week 1

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AP Illinois Girls Basketball Rankings: Week 1

Here are the latest rankings of Illinois high school girls basketball teams in each class, according to an Associated Press panel of sportswriters.

Class 4A

No. School Pts
1 Homewood-Flossmoor (4) 65
2 Montini (1) 60
3 Rock Island (2) 57
3 (tie) Edwardsville (1) 57
5 Benet 37
6 Evanston 36
7 Geneva 33
8 Belleville West 23
9 Bradley-Bourbonnais 14
10 Rockford Boylan 12

Other receiving votes: Belleville East 8, Hersey 8, Hononegah 7, Whitney Young 7, Fremd 6, Springfield 4, Proviso East 3, Bolingbrook 2, Normal Community 1.

Class 3A

No. School Pts
1 Morgan Park (4) 49
2 Bethalto Civic Memorial 42
3 North Lawndale 39
4 Normal University  36
4 (tie) Highland 36
6 Morton (2) 26
7 Marshall 24
8 Rockford Lutheran 23
9 Galesburg 16
10 Bogan 13

Other receiving votes: Rock Falls 12, Peoria Central 5, Antioch 4, Herscher 3, Urbana 2.

Class 2A

No. School Pts
1 Byron (7) 75
2 Hall (1) 52
3 Breese Mater Dei 46
4 Gilman Iroquois West 41
4 (tie) Hillsboro 41
6 Auburn 31
7 Sherrard  24
8 St. Thomas More 22
9 Eureka 20
10 Bloomington Central Catholic 19

Other receiving votes: Teutopolis 13, Nashville 13, Oakwood 8, St. Joseph 7, Camp Point Central 7, Kewanee 6, Beecher 5, St. Joseph-Ogden 3, Buffalo Tri-City 3, Tuscola 2, Althoff Catholic 1, Havana 1.

Class 1A

No. School Pts
1 Lebanon (2) 63
2 Danville Schlarman (2) 59
3 Aston-Franklin Center (1) 49
4 Okawville 45
5 Calhoun (2) 37
6 Galena 33
7 Mount Olive 32
8 Annawan 26
9 Lanark Eastland 7
10 Moweaqua Central A&M 6

Other receiving votes: Amboy 5, Heyworth 4, Liberty 4, Cissna Park 4, Winchester 3, Indian Creek 2, Princeville 2, Aquin 2, Brimfield 1, Erie 1.

AP Illinois Boys Basketball Rankings: Week 1

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AP Illinois Boys Basketball Rankings: Week 1

Here are the latest rankings of Illinois high school boys basketball teams in each class, according to an Associated Press panel of sportswriters.

Class 4A

No. School Pts
1 Curie (7) 70
2 Simeon 61
3 Evanston 45
4 Belleville West 40
5 Edwardsville 36
6 Joliet West 32
7 East Moline United 28
8 Belleville Althoff 25
9 East St. Louis 18
10 Danville 17

Other receiving votes: Bolingbrook 13, Rockford Boylan 12, Kenwood 10, Quincy 9, Lincoln-Way West 6, Whitney Young 6, Belleville East 4, Stevenson 3, Rock Island 3, Hononegah 1, St. Joseph 1.

Class 3A

No. School Pts
1 Morgan Park (5) 57
2 Bloomington (1) 46
3 Peoria Manual 40
4 Fenwick 36
5 North Lawndale 33
6 Galesburg 23
7 Centralia 20
8 Springfield Lanphier 16
9 Benton 12
10 Champaign Central 10

Other receiving votes: Ridgewood 6, St. Rita 5, Springfield Southeast 5, Murphysboro 5, De La Salle 5, Mahomet-Seymour 4, Jacksonville 3, Marion 2, Hillcrest 1, Bogan 1.

Class 2A

No. School Pts
1 St. Joseph-Ogden (2) 48
1 (tie) Uplift (3) 48
3 Orr (1) 44
4 Rockridge (1) 40
5 Nashville 39
6 Alton Marquette 25
7 Teutopolis 23
8 Tremont 20
8 (tie) Monmout-Roseville 20
10 Waterloo Gibault 19

Other receiving votes: Kewanee 11, Monticello 9, Quincy Notre Dame 9, Sterling Newman 7, Rockford Christian 6, Mt. Carmel 4, Leo 4, Paxton-Buckley-Loda 3, Seton Academy 2, DePaul College Prep 2, Pleasant Plains 1, Eldorado 1.

Class 1A

No. School Pts
1 Okawville (3) 70
2 Colfax Ridgeview (3) 56
3 Freeport (Aquin) 41
3 (tie) Annawan 41
5 Patoka 32
6 Quest Academy 30
7 DePue 29
8 Newark 24
9 Pawnee 15
9 (tie) East Dubuque 15

Other receiving votes: Gallatin County 13, LeRoy 13, Ashton-Franklin Center 11, Christian Liberty Academy 10, Woodlawn 9, Liberty 9, Luther North 7, Madison 4, Mendon Unity 2, Altamont 2, Delavan 2, Effingham St. Anthony 2, Mounds Meridian 1, Heyworth 1, Chicago (Hope) 1.