By Michael O'Brien
The old gym at Argo was packed to the rafters, a full house with a hundred or so fans standing and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski sitting courtside. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ilinois coach Bruce Weber were in the stands.Young vs. Simeon is supposed to be about high-level talent-thats what brings out the heavy hitters. But Tuesday in Summit it was a regular high school basketball player, Simeon senior Reggie Norris, who changed the games momentum and helped the Wolverines to a 52-42 win over Young in a Class 4A sectional semifinal.Norris came off the bench in the first half, but he started the second. The 6-0 senior turned up the heat on Youngs backcourt and triggered the games decisive run.We wanted the defensive pressure, Simeon coach Robert Smith said. He had a lot of high energy plays. Hes used to being out there and handling those moments.Norris drained a three with 6:37 to play in the third quarter that put Simeon ahead 27-26 and igniting a 12-0 run. The Wolverines did not relinquish the lead again.Reggie Norris waited his turn, Smith said. Sometimes guys have to do that here. Hes going to be huge for us from here on out.Jabari Parker led the way for the Wolverines (29-1) with 18 points and six rebounds. Kendrick Nunn added 11 and Steve Taylor finished with three points and eight rebounds. Taylor had his hands full with the Dolphins 6-10 big Jahlil Okafor, 6-10 Tommy Hamilton Jr. and 6-8 Jermaine Morgan.I think Steve Taylor did a great job, Smith said. Okafor is a great player. Once again Taylor stepped up for us.Okafor finished with nine points and seven rebounds, but did not score in the second half.We just kept the ball out of his hands, Smith said. You cant stop him, you just have to try and keep him from getting it.Sophomore Miles Reynolds led Young (16-10) with 13 points and Paul White scored seven.The third quarter hurt us, Young coach Tyrone Slaughter said. We fell apart and they are the type of team that will take advantage of any slip up. Im proud of our effort, we battled to the end.
By Michael O'Brien