Scouting the State: Top-ranked Wolverines upset in CPL playoffs

Posted: Feb. 14, 2013 3:13 am Updated: Mar. 28, 2013 3:22 am

The No. 1 team in the state won't be able to call itself the No. 1 team in the Chicago Public League.

Chicago Morgan Park made sure of that.

Chicago Simeon, the No. 1-ranked team in Class 4A featuring a wealth of NCAA Division I talent, lost in the semifinals of the CPL playoffs when a broken play turned into perfect execution in transition as Morgan Park earned a 54-53 victory at Chicago State University.

Billy Garrett Jr. caught an outlet pass, pushed hard to the basket and scored with 11 seconds left to stun the Wolverines.

"It was sort of a broken play," Garrett Jr. told the Chicago Sun-Times. "Kyle (Davis) kinda lost his dribble, Josh (Cunningham) got it and he found me."

Simeon's Jabari Parker missed a baseline jumper at the buzzer that would have won the game.

"It's not the worst thing in the world," Simeon coach Robert Smith told the Sun-Times. "We are still going to wake up in the morning tomorrow. You can't win them all."

Dangerous offense: With just two weeks until the Class 4A regionals begin, Edwardsville appears to be finding the perfect groove.

The Tigers, ranked fifth in the latest Class 4A state poll, steamrolled Collinsville 74-34 on Tuesday and have won their last four games by an average of 30.3 points.

"They've got a lot of talent out there -- a lot of veterans and all of them very good shooters,"

Collinsville coach Darin Lee told the Belleville News-Democrat. "There's really no defense that we're going to play to be able to guard them. We can't match up with them man-to-man and we can't zone them. They shoot it too well."

Edwardsville had four players score in double figures against Collinsvile with Western Illinois University recruit Garret Covington scoring 18 points.

Staying out in front: The top team in the Big 12 Conference standings turned to a sophomore to help it keep its position.

Normal Community sophomore forward Alex Peacock rebounded his own missed free throw and made the putback to tie Decatur Eisenhower, send the game to overtime and lead the Ironmen to a 65-62 victory on the road.

Peacock scored 13 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, while the Ironmen made 7 of 10 free throws in overtime to earn their 17th straight victory.

The Ironmen are 13-2 in Big 12 play with one regular-season conference game remaining against Urbana.

"It's a tough place for us to play, and we were down by five points late in the fourth quarter," Normal coach Dave Witzig told the Bloomington Pantagraph. "But the guys gutted it out and had some great possessions at the end."

Denied once again: The Illinois High School Association board of directors denied A.J. Riley's last-ditch efforts to become eligible this season.

Riley, who played for Peoria Manual last season and moved from the river city during the summer, transferred to Peoria Notre Dame when he returned to Peoria in September. He was ruled ineligible before the season began by IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman.

Riley was academically ineligible for the postseason last year and transferred to LaLumiere prep school in LaPorte, Ind., where he began the 2012-13 school year. He returned to Peoria a few weeks into the semester.

"The IHSA has rules regarding transfers and eligibility and A.J. Riley clearly doesn't comply with those rules," Hickman told the Peoria Journal Star.

Last Friday, attorneys for Riley filed a request for a court injunction that would give hime temporary eligibility. A Peoria County judge denied the request, according to the Journal Star.

Monday, the IHSA board denied the latest appeal.

"We hope the decision of the board today puts this to bed," Hickman said.

Finally, it's over: Rochester and Taylorville may have played the longest game in IHSA history. Wednesday night, it finally ended.

The Tornadoes' Kyle Wilhour scored eight of his 21 points in the two overtimes, leading Taylorville to a 67-58 victory in Central State Eight Conference play.

This was the conclusion of a game postponed Dec. 21 because of weather and started last Saturday. A medical emergency in the stands forced officials to suspend the game in the first quarter. Then Wednesday, it went two overtimes before its conclusion.

Taylorville outscored Rochester 13-4 in the second overtime.




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