2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 12/27/2013 11:06 PM

Simeon outlasts St. Charles North in 3 OTs

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By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent

PONTIAC -- Alec Goetz was almost speechless after the most extraordinary competition of his basketball career against four-time defending Class 4A boys state champion Simeon.

"That game was crazy," Goetz simply said.

In one of the most memorable games staged at the home of the first holiday basketball tournament in the nation, St. Charles North was on the cusp of one of the greatest upsets in years.

But it was not to be.

The North Stars led the reigning three-time Pontiac Holiday Tournament champion Wolverines for virtually the entire game.

But Simeon junior Jaycee Hillsman drained a 3-pointer from the right baseline with a second remaining to send the teams' quarterfinal into overtime.

It would take 12 extra minutes of basketball before Simeon outlasted the North Stars 82-74 in triple overtime Friday afternoon.

Simeon (8-1), the second seed, advanced to the semifinals to earn a date with Oak Park-River Forest, which also needed two extra periods to turn back Bloom.

Simeon had missed its first 11 field-goal attempts from beyond the arc before the junior forward tied the game 58-58.

St. Charles North (7-5) had split a pair of free throws seconds earlier.

"Coach Rob (Smith) just designed the perfect play at the perfect time," said Hillsman, who scored several key baskets during the three extra periods to finish with 18 points. "We just executed it. (Smith) trusts us in those situations."

The Wolverines' come-from-behind victory -- Simeon trailed 41-30 late in the third quarter after a Goetz 3-pointer -- spoiled a remarkable game by the St. Charles North senior guard.

Goetz pumped home eight 3-pointers and hit multiple clutch foul shots -- eight in succession -- to score a career-high 36 points.

Goetz and backcourt mate Jake Ludwig, who finished with 21 points, scored all but 2 of the North Stars' first-half points as St. Charles North led 30-27 at the intermission.

"I hope St. Charles North gets some respect now," said Goetz, who drained multiple shots from four to six feet beyond the arc. "That's all I care about."

The senior then negated a Hillsman 3-pointer in the second overtime to tie the game once again at 69-69; he then forced the third overtime with another pair of ice-in-the-veins free throws with 26 seconds to play in the second four-minute session.

But Goetz had the last of his points on a 3-pointer in the third overtime; St. Charles North would fail to score otherwise as the Wolverines' combination of size and athleticism took its toll.

The Wolverines owned a commanding 63-33 advantage on the glass but bricked 19 of 44 free throws to give St. Charles North a fighting chance.

"Maybe in a summer league game, but not a (regular-season) game," Goetz said when he asked if he had ever shot the ball with such precision from the perimeter.

Goetz was 8-for-11 from 3-point range.

"In hindsight I should have fouled," St. Charles North coach Tom Poulin said of the Wolverines' final possession in regulation. "(Hillsman) hit a big shot. I thought (Goetz) did a great job of handling ball pressure. We expected that out of him."

Edward Morrow led Simeon with 31 points.

Garrett Johnson, Cam Cotter and Tyler DeMoss all fouled out for St. Charles North.

Jack Callaghan struggled from the field for the North Stars but hauled down 13 defensive rebounds.

Bloom 59, St. Charles North 58: St. Charles North was eliminated from the Pontiac Holiday Tournament late Friday night with another heartbreaking defeat.

Jack Callaghan scored 17 points, Alec Goetz added 16 and Jake Ludwig was the third North Star in double digits with 14 points. But it was not enough as Bloom edged St. Charles North 59-58 in a fifth-place semifinal game.

The North Stars return to action after the new year with a 7-5 record.

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