PONTIAC - Bloomington High School's basketball team put Coach Ron Rose's biggest fear to rest early Friday night against Danville in the consolation bracket championship game of the 75th annual Pontiac Holiday Tournament.
The Purple Raiders, who defeated Big 12 Conference rival Danville by 20 points three weeks ago, hit the Vikings with a 21-4 surge to start the game and coasted to a 78-46 victory.
"I was worried about that," said Rose of the earlier season win. "When we played Schaumburg (Thursday for a second time after losing to the Saxons three weeks ago), I felt we had a little mental edge because we had something to prove.
"I was afraid that was going to be the reverse with Danville. But we came out with a lot of energy. We shared the ball well and got a lot of contributions from a lot of kids, who played to their strengths."
Brent Holtz led the Raiders with a career-high 19 points. The senior guard was 6 of 7 from the field, including 5 of 6 from 3-point territory. He also had four assists.
"I was glad to see that," said Rose, whose team improved its record to 10-3. "Brent is a tremendous shooter. It's good to get him involved in the offense early. You could see as the game went on his confidence grew and grew. He was looking for his shot more and he was being very aggressive with the ball going to the basket."
Holtz credited his teammates with getting him open looks.
"The big men set a lot of good screens," said Holtz. "The guards were able to drive and kick out when my guy collapsed on the drive. As a team we were passing the ball and had good offensive movement."
Danville, which advanced to the consolation title game with a 48-43 win over Joliet earlier in the day, saw its record drop to 9-5. Andreas Coleman paced the Vikings with nine points.
"They are just better than we are," said Danville coach Scott Olson.
BHS earned a 55-52 overtime victory over Oak Park-River Forest (8-4) to get to the consolation championship contest.
"I feel a lot better than I did 48 hours ago," said Rose, whose team has a 7-1 record in the tournament the last two years. "After we lost the first night and then had to face Schaumburg, the possibility was there of losing two and going home.
"But the kids showed a lot of character by winning the Schaumburg game and getting through today."
Simeon 67, Warren 65
Randall Hampton made one of two free throws with 9.9 seconds left to provide the final margin as Simeon edged Warren for the championship.
Warren still had a chance to win or tie, but Logan Derrick's 3-point attempt with six seconds left missed its mark, and teammate Ceola Clark's rebound shot as time expired also went off the rim.
Simeon (9-2) was led by Derrick Rose's 26 points on 10 of 13 shooting from the field. Tim Flowers added 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Wolverines.
Clark had 22 points and Mitchell Moore 17 for Warren, which suffered its first loss after starting the season with 10 victories.
Simeon jumped out to a 25-9 lead early in the second quarter before Warren closed to within 35-31 at halftime.
Lockport 68, Pontiac 51
Mark Siwa caught fire at the right time for Lockport and the Porters blazed past Pontiac.
Siwa, a 5-9 junior, hit three straight 3-pointers late in the third quarter and early in the fourth quarter as the Porters finished the game with a 28-4 blitz. Pontiac (11-2) held a 47-40 lead when Siwa got hot.
"We knew he was one of their better shooters, but he hadn't shown anything like that," said Pontiac coach Jake Krause. "He shot us out of our zone defense. We had done a good job in the zone, then he got hot. He really gave them a spark.
"In the fourth quarter we had some bad decision-making on the offensive end. We couldn't put anything in the basket, free throws or field goals. If you are going to win close games, you have to score more than four points."
Siwa led all scorers with 19 points and seven assists. Bruce Durham added 14 and six assists. Pontiac was paced by Kody Strong's 11 points. Rayme Mackinson had a team-high eight rebounds.
"I was proud of our effort in the tournament," said Krause. "We played hard. It was our goal to get to Friday and our ultimate goal to play Friday night. We had great fan support. There are things we can draw on from the tournament to improve on and get ready for Corn Belt Conference race.
"We have to make better decisions and defensively we have to tighten some things up. I can't fault our effort. If we do that all year, we'll be able to win games."
BHS 55, Oak Park 52
Justin Bocot scored seven of his team-high 20 points in overtime to lead the Purple Raiders into the finals of the consolation bracket.
BHS jumped to a 21-5 lead after one quarter by making 9 of 14 shots. The Purple Raiders made only seven baskets in 28 attempts the rest of the game and finished at 42 percent. Bocot's 3-point basket with 1:46 left in overtime put BHS ahead for good at 52-49.
Oak Park-River Forest (8-4) had a chance to send the game into a second overtime, but Jason Pontone's 3-point attempt was short off the front of the rim. The Huskies made only 1 of 18 shots in the first quarter and made only 30 percent for the game.
Lamont Sanders topped the Huskies with 23 points and eight rebounds. BHS also received double-figure scoring from Cory Hainlen with 13 and Lonnie Lawrence with 11. Lawrence just missed a third straight double-double with eight rebounds.
Warren 61, Aurora West 56
Marcus Lewis had 17 points, while Dalton Jordan and Mitchell Moore scored 10 each to lead No. 2 seed Warren past Aurora West and into the championship game. Johnny Walker, T.J. Marion and Tyler Thompson combined for 47 points for Aurora West. Walker had 17, while Marion and Thompson had 15.
Simeon 63, Curie 43
Derrick Rose was 9 of 12 from the field and scored 24 points to lead top-seeded Simeon over Chicago Curie and into the finals. Tim Flowers had 10 points and seven rebounds. Donovan Foster topped Curie with 10 points.
Aurora West knocked off Chicago Curie, 73-53, for third place, while Peoria Manual handled Lockport, 64-51, for fifth place.
Simeon's Derrick Rose, a junior, won the A.C. Williamson Most Valuable Player Award. He was joined on the all-tournament first team by teammate Tim Flowers, Marcus Lewis of Warren, P.J. Marion of Aurora West and Breland McKnight of Peoria Manual.
Lonnie Lawrence of Bloomington and Kevin Lyons of Pontiac were among those named to the second team. They were joined by Ceola Clark of Warren, Victor Colon of Niles West and Bruce Durham of Lockport.