PONTIAC–Stoic is not the primary phrase that involves thoughts for many star highschool basketball gamers, however it begins to explain Simeon senior Jalen Griffith.
He is nearly all the time the smallest participant on the courtroom, however as captain Sam Lewis says, Griffith is the overall. He’s a four-year varsity participant and has been the rock for the Wolverines the previous two seasons.
As Simeon’s lead crumbled within the championship sport of the 91st Pontiac Vacation Match, it was Griffith who righted the ship and secured a 52-49 victory towards Bennett.
“No matter our rating, we needed to show we had been the most effective,” Griffith stated. “And that was it [Simeon coach Robert Smith’s] final time we got here to Pontiac, so we needed to win it for him.”
A bucket by Brady Kunca pulled Bennett inside two factors of Simeon (12-0) with 1:30 left. The Wolverines led by 20 at halftime and by 18 halfway by the third quarter.
Griffith scored on a drive to the basket to increase the result in 4. He then threaded the needle on Sam Lewis, who put Simeon up 50-44 after a flawless layup.
“[Griffith] is our staff,” Smith stated. “I can simply go him the ball and say let’s go. Schools are going to come back for him. He is displaying folks he can play at that degree.”
Bennett (16-1) lower the result in 50-49 on a steal and basket by Sam Driscoll, however Lewis offered the ultimate lead by making two free throws with 11 seconds to play. Bennett had an opportunity to tie the sport ultimately, however missed three factors.
“We had been useless within the water at halftime,” Bennett coach Gene Heidkamp stated. “Our guys simply joined in and by no means left. Simeon is the most effective staff within the state for a motive. We’re dissatisfied that we went a bit forward, we want we may have performed higher within the first half.”
Griffith led Simeon with 17 factors and 6 rebounds. He was awarded the distinguished AC Williamson Award. Lewis completed with 15 factors and Michael Ratliff with 11 factors.
That is Simeone’s sixteenth title, which he additionally gained final season. Bennett additionally misplaced to the Wolverines within the 2014 championship sport.
Dartmouth freshman Niko Abusara led the Redwings with 17 factors, 5 assists and 6 rebounds. Braden Fagbemi scored 13 factors and made 4 assists.
“We’re nonetheless a good distance from the place we need to be, however in December you simply need to win video games,” Simeon coach Robert Smith stated. “We will repair some issues later.”
Smith, who’s retiring after the season, was overcome with emotion after the sport. Simeon has developed an in depth relationship with the match and the Pontiac group.
“This place is so particular to me,” Smith stated. “Once I first began happening [former Simeon coach Bob Hambric] he instructed me that loyalty is a giant factor. Pontiac has been loyal to me, so we’re loyal to them. It was emotional for me and my son. He is been coming right here his entire life and he is aware of it is coming to an finish.”
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