Simeon controlled the game's pace for the first three quarters, keeping the game at a slower pace. At the end of the first quarter, Simeon held a 14-10 lead. Heading into half time Simeon held a 24-14 lead. Simeon's zone defense controlled the game early, and held Thornton star, and Oregon-signee, Joevan Catron scoreless through the first two quarters.
The pace picked up a little bit in the third quarter, but it was not until the fourth quarter did the pace of the game really pick up as Thornton was pushing the tempo to get back into the basketball game. Simeon led 42-30 heading in the final quarter, and every one in the gym knew that in the final quarter, Simeon would run their offense through Derrick Rose.
In the fourth quarter, Thornton began to push the tempo, and was rewarded with open looks from the three point line, which they used to get the Simeon lead down to four points, but they would never get it closer than that. After Thornton got the game close, Simeon would run a slow down offense, and then get the basketball to Rose and allow him to create his shot. On three straight possessions in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter, Rose made a move from the right wing, resulting in two pull up jump shots that went in, and a trip to the foul line, where he converted one of two (Rose was 5-for-6 from the free throw line on the game).
After these three possessions, Thornton began to foul. Rose, Simeon's best passer, was tasked with throwing the ball in bounds from either the sideline, or the baseline after a mad Thornton basket. He always found David McKinnie, who would calmly go down to the other end and connect on the free throws.
Scoring Leaders – Simeon
Derrick Rose: 20 points
Joshua Davis: 19 points
Scoring Leaders – Thornton
Joevan Catron – 15 points, all in the second half
FROM THE SCOUT'S SEATS
Derrick Rose showed why he is considered the best player in the state of Illinois in the Class of 2007. Even in a slow down game that does not show his athleticism, Rose still made great decisions with the ball, and was at ease taking the ball to the basket. Early in the game, Rose's jump shot did not have much arc (much like former Illini's Brian Cook), but in the final two shots he took in the fourth quarter, the arc returned to his jump shot.
Rose is at his best when the ball is in his hand, and he made one "oh my" play on Saturday afternoon. The first one had him rubbing off a pick from the right elbow, and using his left (off) hand to get into the lane and through three defenders for an easy lay up.
- Simeon's Timothy Flowers would be a much more sought after recruit were he three inches taller, but at this point his skill set on the inside just does not fit with his size. He played very solid defense against Oregon-signee Catron, especially in the first half.