Many people will tell you that they want to be playing their best down the stretch as the season comes to a close. For most athletes, that means the playoffs.
For Simeon’s basketball team, it means the later rounds of the state basketball playoffs as they look for yet another state championship.
The Wolverines assisted on 20-of-23 baskets en route to setting two Class 3A state records in a 60-42 win over St. Ignatius in a Class 3A semifinal at the UNiversity of Illinois’s State Farm Center Friday morning. Miles Rubin’s eight blocks was one of the records set, while Jalen Griffith shattered the old assists record of nine after dishing out 12 helpers.
The win also avenged last season’s two-point loss in the Class 3A third-place matchup between the two schools.
“My teammates needed me to be a point guard,” Griffith said. “I just went out there and facilitated and made sure my teammates were in a position to score. I’m glad I took advantage of getting my teammates involved.”
“We got our energy up and worked harder on defense and rebounding in the second half,” Miles Rubin said.
The Wolverines led throughout the entire game, starting with a Michael Ratliff basket on the opening possession.
The closest the Wolfpack would get would be a couple of one-point deficits but a 14-0 run spanning from the middle of the third quarter through a couple minutes into the fourth extended a 40-37 Simeon lead to 54-37, essentially clinching the Wolverines’ trip to the state final Saturday evening.
Rubin scored 20 points and pulled down six rebounds in addition to the state-record eight blocks.