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New Trier's Reid Berman scores against Niles North during the Glenbrook North Sectional final on Friday, March 8, 2013 in Northbrook. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
New Trier might not have the raw talent and star power to match up with Simeon, the three-time defending Class 4A state champions, but the Trevians have a talented D-I player in 6-4 Princeton recruit Steven Cook and a heady point guard in senior Reid Berman.
They also have plenty of confidence heading into Tuesday’s supersectional game against Simeon at Chicago State.
“We are going [to Chicago State] to make a statement,” Cook said. “There is nothing we can’t do.”
Cook and Berman were at their best Friday against Niles North. Cook, who averages 17 points, scored 30 and Berman finished with a career-high 14 assists.
It will probably take that and more for the Trevians (28-5) to shock top-ranked Simeon (27-3). Don’t forget though, New Trier has shocked the world before. The Trevians beat a loaded Proviso East squad in the United Center Supersectional in 2002. That edition of the Pirates featured three Division-I recruits: Dee Brown (Illinois), Shannon Brown (Michigan State) and Charles Richardson (Nebraska).
“I didn’t even know about that game,” Simeon coach Robert Smith said. “I know they are playing good right now. I watched some film, [Cook] can play and the point guard is steady.”
Smith says his team isn’t looking past anyone.
“Not at all,” Smith said. “When you get to this point of the season anybody can beat anybody. We can’t look past anyone. We have to take every game like it is a championship game.”
Smith expects Jabari Parker to continue the high-level, rejuvenated play he showed Friday against Young.
“I hope so,” Smith said. “I hope we see him like that for the rest of the year. It was great to see him out there really having some fun. Not pressing and not rushing. It was good to watch him play like that again.”
Here’s a look at the three other Class 4A supersectionals:
At Illinois State: Marian Catholic (29-3) vs. Edwardsville (29-2)
The Spartans have advanced to their first ever supersectional and will make the long trip to Normal to face a red-hot Edwardsville squad that demolished Rock Island 71-45 in the Pekin Sectional final.
The Tigers, who lost to Bloom in the ISU Super last season, are led by senior guards Garret Covington (18.2 points per game) and Tre’ Harris (17.3).
Superstar junior point guard Tyler Ulis should still be the best player on the floor. Guard Ki-Jana Crawford and 6-7 forward Terrone Parham have developed into solid second and third options for Marian Catholic coach Mike Taylor, who is enjoying the ride this season.
“I never thought we’d win 29 games, not with the schedule we put together,” Taylor said after the Spartans’ win over Bloom Friday. “I knew they could do things, but I think they’ve done more than I expected.”
At Hinsdale Central: Proviso East (28-3) vs. West Aurora (24-6)
The Blackhawks' play at Pontiac back in December led many observers to tap them as the favorite to wind up playing in this game. Then came two losses to conference rival Glenbard East and the Blackhawks sort of slipped off the map a bit. They are back now after winning the loaded Bolingbrook sectional. Legendary coach Gordie Kerkman has a solid veteran core with Josh McAuley, Jayquan Lee, Jontrel Walker, Spencer Thomas and Chandler Thomas. Sophomores Roland Griffin and Matt Dunn have added some serious firepower off the bench in the playoffs.
Even with all of Kerkman’s playoff coaching experience, the Pirates are a difficult to team to game-plan for. When Sterling Brown is on, he’s virtually unstoppable. Point guard Paris Lee is as seasoned and talented as any guard in the state and the high-flying, athletic Branden Jenkins is a nightmare to guard. If Proviso East is focused and playing together, it is the favorite to reach Peoria.
At NIU: Stevenson (27-4) vs. Rockford Boylan (22-8)
Sophomore Jalen Brunson is the real deal — one of those high school basketball stars that is worth a trip to see. But almost no one expected Brunson and fellow sophomore Conner Cashaw to lead the Patriots so deep into the playoffs so early in their careers. Now only the Titans stand in the way of a trip to Peoria. Guards Demarcus Vines and Brock Stull lead the way for Boylan, but 6-6 senior Ben Grygiel was a load in its sectional final win over Rockford Jefferson, scoring 21 points and grabbing 15 boards. His size and strength could be a major challenge for Stevenson.
Contributing: Matt Harness, Pat Disabato