Jan 7, 2017; Arlington, TN, USA; Simeon Wolverines Talen Horton-Tucker forward (5) goes to the basket against a Cordova Wolves player during the game at Arlington High School. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Simeon has long been a high school basketball powerhouse in Chicago, but last Sunday afternoon on the back of Iowa State signee Talen Horton-Tucker, the program accomplished something it never had previously.
Simeon defeated Orr 69-59 in the city title game at Chicago State University to win its third consecutive city championship. The Wolverines are the first three-peat champions since Marshall accomplished the feat in the early 1960s.
Horton-Tucker put together one of his usual stat-sheet stuffing performances with 23 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks, cementing his legacy as one of the best players in a Simeon history that includes alumni such as Derrick Rose and Jabari Parker.
“I don’t think there is anyone in the state better than him and I don’t think there are ten players in the country better than him,” Simeon coach Robert Smith told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Today when we needed the best player on the court to step up he did that. He put us on his back and got us over the hump. That is what you do if you are the Player of the Year.”
Horton-Tucker, who is considered the No. 31 player in the country by Rivals, helped the Wolverines pull away with a run of back-to-back 3-pointers followed by a behind-the-back assist that pushed a two-point lead to nine in the third quarter of the game.
The Sun-Times compared Horton-Tucker’s third-quarter stretch to Derrick Rose’s back-to-back steals and dunks that helped Simeon clinch the 2006 city title. However, Rose, who would go on to star for John Calipari at Memphis before ultimately being named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player as a member of the Chicago Bulls, won only two city titles in his time at Simeon.
In the words of the Sun-Times, “Talen Horton-Tucker’s legend was established on Sunday at Chicago State.”
Iowa State fans are hoping he will be able to do something similar in Ames.