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In what was hardly an inspired performance by No. 2 Simeon against Vocational Monday, the host Woverines still managed to pull out a relatively easy 61-38 win.
They’ll now focus for a highly-anticipated Red-South matchup against No. 3 Morgan Park on Wednesday at Chicago State at 7 p.m.
Simeon coach Robert Smith understands at this point that his team is overcoming a bit of road fatigue against the Cavaliers, but still attempted to push the ball most the game.
“We had a nine hour bus ride yesterday and we didn’t get back to Chicago until about 7:30 last night,” said Smith, whose team was returning from a game in Tennessee. “But I saw some good stuff today, especially on defense.”
The Wolverines (12-2, 5-0) led 13-8 after a quarter but broke it open in the second behind a 24-8 run, building a 37-16 halftime lead. Duke recruit Jabari Parker went scoreless in the first quarter, taking just one shot — a three-pointer — but scored seven of his 20 points in the second, including a three. He also added 11 rebounds.
Parker is still not 100 percent from a foot injury that kept him off the court for four months.
“If I’m going to go out there I’m not going to make any excuses,” said Parker, whose coach claims he is at about 70 percent. “I don’t know about anybody else but I feel good. I’m used to traveling and we’re able to get the rest when we are on the road.”
Kendrick Nunn had 10 of his 15 points at the half while Russell Woods had all nine of his points in the first two quarters. The Wolverines played all 11 players in in the first half, including a line change of the five starters midway through the first.
Anthony Thomas netted 11 points to lead the Cavaliers (10-6, 3-3 in the Red-South).
“Our biggest thing was coming out here and playing with some heart and effort,” Vocational coach Chris Pickett said. “I thought out of the 32 minutes, I was happy with three quarters of effort. We didn’t shoot the ball well, but the effort was there.”
Parker and his teammates will hope to be fully rested and ready to put on a good showing on Wednesday for what is expected to be a sellout crowd.
“It’s going to be a tough game and I know they’ll (Morgan Park) be all hyped and feel they have something to prove to us,” Parker said. “The talent and the hard work needs to come together. The hard work is what will carry us to victory.”