Lyons Township vs. Simeon Postseason Part II was considerably closer than its predecessor, a 30-point blowout victory for the Wolverines in last year’s Lyons Sectional semifinals.
In their rematch on Friday night, the senior-laden Lions truly tested Simeon at the Argo Sectional Championship, but came up short 64-51. The loss snapped the Lions’ 16-game win streak.
“We had a great season,” LT coach Tom Sloan said. “It was fun coaching these guys because all of them are unselfish, skilled players. We had a real shot [to beat] Simeon.”
Playing without their top scorer/rebounder Nick Zeisloft (out with an ankle injury), the Lions seized an early 22-12 lead early in the second quarter, making 8-of-11 shots during one hot stretch. Simeon responded with a 15-4 spurt in the third quarter to take the lead, but LT stayed close until the final minute.
Lyons trailed 54-49 with 1:35 remaining in the game, but Simeon outscored the Lions 10-2 the rest of the way to secure the victory.
“With another year under our belt and having that bitter taste [of last year’s loss],” LT center Nick Burt said, “we knew we could hang with Simeon this time. I think for the most part we were able to limit our turnovers, move the ball well offensively for good shots, and give ourselves a shot at winning the game.”
Eric Powers led LT with 16 points and five rebounds while fellow seniors Dylan Fiedler and Mark Sewall scored 15 points apiece for the Lions, who played only six players against the Wolverines.
Sophomore Kendrick Nunn paced Simeon (27-2) with 16 points and Darien Walker added 11 points and five assists. Sophomore sensation Jabari Parker, one of the top players in the country, was held scoreless by the Lions’ 6-4 swingman senior Spencer Mahoney.
Lyons (26-3) close out a stellar season, winning its Thanksgiving tournament, finishing second at the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic, and winning the West Suburban (Silver) Conference with an undefeated record. Sloan and assistant Jeff Johnson have done a masterful job guiding the LT program. Over the last two years, they have coached the Lions to a sparkling 52-5 record.
Lyons graduates all their rotation players, notably the Illinois State-bound Zeisloft, Henry Wilson, Mahoney, Fiedler, Powers, Sewall and Burt.
“We have been playing together for a while now,” Burt said. “It’s been really fun always playing with four other guys who know exactly where everybody will be on the court.”