PONTIAC - Pontiac High School's basketball team missed its first seven shots in its quarterfinal round game of its 75th annual holiday tournament Thursday night against No. 1-seeded Chicago Simeon.
"It seemed like 20," said Pontiac coach Jake Krause. "And we weren't getting any second chances either."
By the time the Indians made their first field goal with 1:55 remaining in the first quarter, Simeon had run to a 10-point lead on its way to a 61-46 triumph before a near-capacity crowd of 2,500 people.
The victory moved Simeon (6-2) into today's 2:30 p.m. semifinal against No. 12 Chicago Curie (8-4). Two 9-0 teams, No. 2 seed Gurnee Warren and No. 3 Aurora West, meet in the first semifinal at 1 p.m.
Pontiac, which suffered its first loss of the season after 11 wins, faces Lockport (8-2) at 9:30 a.m. Should the Indians win, they would play for fifth place at 5 p.m.
"We shot the ball extremely well (Wednesday night)," said Krause, whose team finished the Simeon game shooting only 35 percent from the field. "It looked to me like we had a lot of nerves tonight. I thought we were nervous in the beginning.
"Playing in front of that many people against the caliber of a team like that, you're either going to come out loose or nervous. There is no in-between. I thought we were loose before the game, but we weren't."
Simeon had a 12-7 lead after one quarter and extended it to 21-7 midway through the second quarter. Pontiac trailed 29-17 at halftime and 48-26 after three quarters.
"We got down early and how do you dig yourself out of a hole against them?" asked Krause. "They do so many things well. They have quickness and size. Those two things together make a tough combination. They are just better than us."
Simeon, which shot 45 percent from the field and owned a 33-25 rebounding edge, was led by junior all-stater Derrick Rose with 14 points. Fellow junior Tim Flowers had 12 points and nine rebounds.
"They are a really quick team," said Pontiac's Rayme Mackinson, who had the responsibility of guarding Rose. "I tried to keep him in front of me because there's nothing you can do if he gets by you.
"I knew he wasn't a great perimeter shooter, but I knew he could shoot the 15-footer. He's just so quick off the dribble. Flowers is not tall, but he's got a big body (6-foot-5, 235 pounds) and quick moves."
Pontiac was led in scoring by Kody Strong with 10 points. Kevin Lyons, who scored 27 points Wednesday on 7 of 9 shooting from 3-point range, was limited to six points on 2 of 6 shooting from 3-point territory.
"They really concentrated on Kevin and that took him away from us," said Krause.
"We overplayed Lyons a lot and didn't allow him to get many balls up," said Simeon coach Robert Williams. "We watched him (Wednesday) night and he only played the left side of the floor. We took that away from him.
"We wanted to get off to a good start in their home gym and put pressure on them to make baskets. Everyone keys in on Derrick so much that our other guys step up."
BHS 59, Schaumburg 52
Junior forward Lonnie Lawrence posted his second double-double in as many days with 16 points and 13 rebounds, including seven on the offensive end, to lead the Purple Raiders (8-3) to their win. Justin Bocot led BHS with 17 points and Cory Hainlen added 10.
"I have a lot of confidence in my teammates, but if the shot goes off the rim, it's my job to get the rebound," said the 6-foot-4 Lawrence, who had 14 points and 10 rebounds in Wednesday's opening game.
"The loss to Chicago Curie (Wednesday) motivated us," added the junior forward. "And after we lost to Schaumburg (71-54 three weeks ago), we knew there was a chance we might play them here. We told ourselves we weren't going to lose to them a second time."
BHS had a 32-23 halftime lead before Schaumburg (9-3) rallied to tie the game at 46 with 6:57 remaining. The Purple Raiders never let the Saxons get ahead as Bocot hit a jumper and Lawrence had two free throws for a 50-46 advantage.
Schaumburg closed within 54-52 with 2:11 to go before Lawrence stole the ball and was fouled. He made one of two free throws for a 55-42 edge. The Saxons had three 3-point shots to knot the score in a 35-second flurry, but failed.
Hainlen then made three of four free throws and Brent Holtz one in the final 43 seconds to secure the victory.
"To come back and beat a team that beat you by 17 three weeks ago, this is a great win," said Rose. "We got contributions out of a lot of kids. It was a step in the right direction because our confidence was shaken (after losing three of four).
Aurora West 60, East Moline 30
The undefeated and No. 3 seeded Blackhawks (9-0) shot 54 percent from the field and held East Moline (7-4) to 28 percent to gain their triumph. Reggie Shipp had 14 points and Tyler Thompson added 13. T.J. Marion had seven assists.
"I was pleased with the way we played," said Aurora West coach Gordon Kerkman, who tied Dick Van Scyoc for most tournament coaching victories with 61. "It was quite a bit different than yesterday when we did a lot of standing around. Today we got much more movement and were much more active on defense. When we are active on defense we can usually make things happen.
Warren 73, Manual 63
Marcus Lewis and Ceola Clark combined for 34 points as No. 2 Warren (9-0) had little problems with Peoria Manual (8-3). Lewis had 18 and Clark 16 points and eight rebounds. John Washington, Kiyne Dunnigan and Breland McKnight each had 15 points for Manual.
"We got the win, but we have to play a whole lot better defensively than that," said Warren coach Chuck Ramsey. "When we are moving the ball and moving our bodies, we're tough to defend. We have some gifted passes.
Curie 61, Lockport 46
The Condors (8-4) limited the Porters (7-2) to two points in the second quarter to cruise into the semifinals. Donovan Foster paced Curie with 17 points and Kendall Decree added 12 points and 11 rebounds. Bruce Durham topped Lockport with 18 points. The Porters shot just 25 percent from the field.
Joliet (7-3) eliminated Chicago Lane Tech, 61-46, Danville (7-3) sent Niles West home with a 71-64 loss despite Victor Colon's 29-point outburst, while Oak Park-River Forest (8-3) whipped Lake Forest, 58-41, and Peoria Manual (9-3) beat East Moline, 52-45.