Simeon keeps marching on

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Simeon keeps marching on

By Patrick Z. McGavin
YourSeason.com
To a player Simeon was not going to get caught looking ahead. Marist certainly earned the Wolverines attention after posting stunning victories over Public League powers Curie and Bogan.The RedHawks hopes were dashed by a 19-1 Simeon second-quarter run that catapulted the two-time defending Class 4A champions past Marist 65-44 Friday in the Class 4A Argo Sectional Friday night before a standing-room-only crowd exceeding 2,400.No. 1 Simeon advances to the Chicago State Supersectional Tuesday against Evanston.Junior sharpshooter Kendrick Nunn drilled two three-pointers and scored 11 points during the second-quarter burst that propelled the Wolverines to a commanding 36-17 lead at the break.Nunn finished with 16 points.Feeding off its boisterous crowd, Marist (26-6) drilled its first two three-point attempts and enjoyed separate four-point leads in the early going. They weathered one early Simeon run after sophomore Nic Weishar (12 points, six rebounds) nailed a three-pointer that pulled Marist within 17-16 with 6:03 to play in the second quarter.Marist never scored again from the field during the first half. The Wolverines (30-1) harassed Marist to miss seven of its eight field-goal attempts and forced six turnovers in the second quarter. Nunn added a conventional three-point play and star Jabari Parker punctuated the run with a thundering dunk.It was a lot of everything, Marist coach Gene Nolan said about the scoring drought.This is probably the best defensive team Ive had since Ive been coaching, Simeon coach Robert Smith said. The team with Derrick (Rose) was great with pressure but this team can play so many different styles: man, zone, pressure.Simeon registered eight blocks and seven steals. Steve Taylor (nine points) recorded 11 rebounds and four blocked shots. Emerging junior Kendall Pollard contributed seven points and six rebounds.Smiths point about his teams defensively versatility was driven home with a vengeance during the second quarter. Theyre so long and theyre so athletic and so difficult to score on, Nolan said. Because we didnt shoot well, it hurt us defensively there because we werent efficient on offense, and they were able to score off rebounds and turnovers.After Parker opened the fourth quarter with a gorgeous step-back jumper that equaled the games largest lead at 51-29, Marist came alive and shocked the Wolverines with a 10-0 run.Smith refused to call time out and his players responded. Jelani Neely ended the run with a drive in traffic with 5:03 to play. Parker, who scored seven of his game-high 19 points in the fourth quarter, drilled turnaround jumper in the lane.Weve prided ourselves on our defense, but also the fact that you cant key on one person against us, Smith said. Jabari did his thing, Kendrick and Steve Taylor, but Jelani also was huge for us. Give a lot of credit to Marist. That coach did a great job, and this time of year its not about who has the most talent but who wants it the most. We really wanted this game tonight.Marist shot 7-for-22 on three-pointers. Senior guard Tyler Oden scored a team-best 15 points.

Fast Break Morning Update: Scott Darling leads Blackhawks to win over Blues

Fast Break Morning Update: Scott Darling leads Blackhawks to win over Blues

Here are the top Chicago sports stories from Sunday:

Scott Darling shines in fill-in duty as Blackhawks break late tie to best rival Blues

White Sox pitchers headed for World Baseball Classic look sharp in win over Rockies

What if… Cubs GM Jed Hoyer’s takeaways from epic World Series Game 7

Quick hits: Blackhawks start strong in win over Blues

Illini keep NCAA tournament hopes afloat with dominant win over Nebraska

White Sox: Happy with progress, Brett Lawrie tries to clear final hurdles

How Indians regrouped and reloaded after losing unforgettable Game 7 to Cubs

Jim Thome: Getting into baseball Hall of Fame would be indescribable

Kurt Busch steals a monster of a win in Daytona 500

Michigan State gets big win to boost tourney hopes, while Wisconsin loses for fourth time in five games

 

 

 

Scott Darling shines in fill-in duty as Blackhawks break late tie to best rival Blues

Scott Darling shines in fill-in duty as Blackhawks break late tie to best rival Blues

Scott Darling found out at 8 o'clock this morning that he was starting for an ailing Corey Crawford. Considering he did this back in December for a few weeks, adjusting quick for one game was fine.

"It's kind of my job," Darling said.

And Darling, once again, did his job.

Darling stopped 30 of 32 shots and Patrick Kane scored his 24th goal of the season as the Blackhawks beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Sunday night. The Blackhawks have won nine of their last 10 games. They're one point behind the Minnesota Wild, who made their splashy trade-deadline move in acquiring Martin Hanzal on Sunday. But the Blackhawks, thanks to veterans regaining their form, a top line finding its rhythm and youth consistently improving, are just rolling right along.

"We had a great start to the game. I thought Darls was excellent all night, great stretch there in the last 10 minutes where we fight through some tough shifts, particularly in the last couple of minutes in our end. But good win," coach Joel Quenneville said. "You look at the nice plays on the goals, it was kind of a comparable ending to the outdoor game: tied and about the same time they scored, we scored (tonight). Big two points for us."

Jonathan Toews scored his 16th of the season and Artem Anisimov scored the game-winning goal with 5:20 remaining in regulation. Tanner Kero added an empty-net goal with 2.6 seconds remaining in the game.

The Blackhawks already knew they'd be without Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body) for at least a day or two when they found out Crawford couldn't go this morning. As Quenneville said Darling was strong once again, denying the Blues all but twice (a 2-on-1 goal from Magnus Paajarvi and a power-play goal from Alex Pietrangelo).

Toews and Kane (power-play goal) staked the Blackhawks to a 2-0 lead early before the Blues tied it in the second. But late in the third period Anisimov took the feed from Artemi Panarin to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead.

"I saw the puck all the way. It was easy to pick up," Anisimov said. "When you don't see the puck at the last moment and it comes, it's hard to receive and prepare for the next move. But I saw it all the way. Easy to prepare for the next move."

Speaking of next moves, do the Blackhawks make any more before the trade deadline. General manager Stan Bowman said on Friday, following the acquisition of Tomas Jurco, that he'll keep talking and listening but likes the group he has right now. If Bowman's made moves it's for what the Blackhawks have needed, not because of another team's trades. The Blackhawks like what they have right now. Winning nine of 10 and continuing to trend in the right direction, they should be careful not to disrupt what they've got going.

"I think we're, as we've said lately, trending the right way. We're playing solid. I think all four lines are contributing in every which way," Toews said. "I love our group right now. Everyone is getting better individually, contributing more and more and it's a lot of fun to see the way we're playing right now. We know that the ceiling is way higher and we can keep getting better too."