PEORIA – In his last high school game, Duke commit and reigning Illinois Mr. Basketball Jabari Parker led Simeon to its fourth consecutive state title with a 58-40 win against Lincolnshire Stevenson in the Class 4A championship.
Parker scored 20 points, Russell Woods added a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Kendall Pollard chipped in 10 points and nine boards for the Wolverines (30-3) on Saturday.
Simeon stumbled out of the gate in the championship game, turning the ball over in its first two possessions before righting itself and jumping to a 27-17 lead midway through the second quarter. The Patriots hung around, though, trailing by just seven, 31-24, at halftime behind Jalen Brunson’s 13 points.
The Wolverines’ Jaylon Tate shut down Brunson after the initial burst, holding the sophomore star to just one second-half point.
“I just tried to give him a lot of pressure,” Tate said of the defensive stops. “He’s a good player, but the pressure seemed to work in the second half.”
The Wolverines took advantage of a Patriots scoring drought to begin the second half. Stevenson’s Connor Cashaw hit a jumper with just less than 2 minutes to go, but by then it was 42-28 and Simeon never looked back.
It’s just the second time an Illinois school has won four in a row. Peoria Manual did it from 1994-97. The title also gives Simeon a record seven championships overall.
“We’ve been writing history all along,” Parker said. “This is how they are going to remember us.”
The Morgan Park Mustangs used a balanced attack to top Cahokia, 63-48, in the 3A finale.
Led by 14 points from DePaul recruit Billy Garrett, 13 from Markee Williams, 11 from Xzavier Taylor and 10 from Dayton recruit Kyle Davis, Morgan Park (33-3) won its second state title on Saturday.
Leading 37-31 after three quarters, Morgan Park went on a 12-0 run to push its lead to 18 and never was threatened again.
Cahokia (33-4) was led by nine points each from Carleton Rivers and Vincent Jackson Jr.