In the Clutch: McElrath leads Simeon to Finals

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In the Clutch: McElrath leads Simeon to Finals

Friday, March 18, 2011
Posted: 10:41 p.m.

By Michael O'Brien
YourSeason.com

PEORIA Glenbard East coach Scott Millers scouting report said that Simeon senior Rashawn McElrath was probably the Wolverines worst free-throw shooter. So with the game on the line, it was McElrath that continually found himself at the free-throw line. Time and again, the 6-7 senior came through. He made all seven of his free throws in the fourth quarter to help Simeon hold on to a 56-53 win over Glenbard East in the Class 4A state semifinals at Carver Arena. The most crucial pair of free throws came with 14 seconds to play and the Wolverines clinging to a two-point lead. McElrath had been raked across the face by Zach Miller on the foul.I was just trying to see, McElrath said. So thats all I thought about. I was fine.Simeon opened the game with a 15-0 run, dominating every phase of the game. But when Simeons second line of players came in, the Rams came right back, draining three three-pointers to close the first quarter. By halftime, Glenbard East only trailed by five.It gave us a sense of urgency, Simeon sophomore Jabari Parker said. We came out tougher after that. They showed they could play with us.The second half was a classic state tournament game, with two poised and talented teams battling. In the end, Simeons near perfection (17-for-18) from the free-throw line was the difference in the game.Give them credit, Scott Miller said. I didnt know who to foul, they all just kept stepping up and making the shots.McElrath led Simeon (29-2) with 17 points and Parker scored 16. Senior guard Tywon Pinkney added 12 for the Wolverines.Glenbard East (27-4) was able to survive Simeons massive height advantage by shooting 12-for-31 from three-point range, eventually forcing Simeon to play man defense.We just went out and played with all the heart we had, Glenbard East senior Johnny Hill said. Everyone on the team gave everything, everyone on the court and on the bench.Hill, who finished with 22 points and five rebounds, was consistently terrific throughout the state tournament.He really stepped up his game and led his team during the playoffs, Simeon coach Robert Smith said. Hes a great player.Kevin Priebe scored 11 for the Rams and Dante Bailey added nine. Bailey made a three with six seconds to play that brought Glenbard East within two points. The Rams received a delay of game techincal for throwing the ball into the stands after the basket.That didnt effect the outcome of the game, Scott Miller said.Simeon will face the winner of the Warren-Normal game for the Class 4A state title Saturday night at 8:15 p.m.

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Five Things to Watch: Bulls visit Bucks in final regular season meeting on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Bulls visit Bucks in final regular season meeting on CSN

Watch as the Bulls take on the Toronto Raptors tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Bulls Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Bulls.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Can the Bulls get one on the Bucks? The Bulls are 0-3 against the Bucks so far this season and it hasn't been pretty. The Bucks have won the previous three meetings all by double digits and by an average of 19 points. The youth and athleticism of the Bucks has been a tough matchup for the Bulls so far.

2. Containing Giannis. There may be no stopping Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the Bulls can at least try to contain him. Antetokounmpo is averaging 23 points and nearly nine rebounds per game. In three games against the Bulls this year he has averaged 29 points, 10 rebounds and 7.3 assists per contest. If the Bulls are to stay in the game, they will need to keep him to numbers lower than that.

3. Playoff implications. The Bulls playoff hopes are still alive with nine games remaining, but things are looking a bit bleak. The Bulls are a game and a half out of the eighth playoff spot, but only 3.5 games behind two teams tied for the No. 5 seed, the Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks. The Bucks have won three in a row to improve their position.

4. Mirotic on a roll. Streaky play is nothing new to Nikola Mirotic, but he's on a good run currently. After scoring a season-high 28 points on Wednesday against the Pistons, Mirotic followed that up with 15 points against the 76ers. Since missing three straight games earlier this month, Mirotic has scored in double figures in five of the last seven games and is averaging 15.6 points during that stretch.

5. Beginning of a tough stretch. The Bulls' playoff hopes could be made or broken in the next three games. After taking on the Bucks, which occupy a playoff spot, the Bulls host two more Eastern Conference playoff teams in Cleveland and Atlanta. The Bulls need to string some wins together and this is not an easy stretch to do so against.

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