Area teams knocked out of playoffs
Stagg pushes Simeon to limit, Richards’ Chappetto coaches last game
Four-time defending state champions aren’t easily frightened.
Even when the program is populated by a large number of younger members, tradition and reputation trump all else. That’s what Simeon coaches were loudly reminding their players of during a late timeout in Friday night’s Class 4A Shepard Regional final.
But the Wolverines definitely had sufficient reason to be worried. Stagg, an opponent thought by most to be overmatched heading into the championship contest, had instead nipped at Simeon’s heels all evening.
And after the Chargers’ Nick Sims buried a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left, only one point separated the two clubs. That’s when Stagg boss John Daniels heard his coaching counterparts exhorting their athletes, and in the remaining time the Wolverines showed some mettle by blocking a shot attempt by Chargers standout Max Strus.
Simeon also had a bit of good fortune on its side, as 3-balls from Strus and Jeff Goral were off the mark. When the latter’s shot failed to settle into the cylinder, the Wolverines were able to escape with a 47-45 victory that netted them a 12th consecutive regional title.