PONTIAC -- St. Charles North boys basketball coach Tom Poulin was in a pensive mood after his squad was held to 10 first-half points in a 61-36 loss to state gladiator Simeon.
"We didn't execute the way we can," Poulin said of an Erik Larson 3-pointer in the last 11 minutes and 52 seconds of the opening half. "They didn't get our best. That's the disappointing thing."
It also did not help the North Stars' aspirations that Simeon (9-2) has the consensus No. 2 senior in the state in Iowa State-bound forward Talen Horton-Tucker.
The Wolverines' small forward single-handedly outscored St. Charles North in the first half as his 24 points on a variety of twisting moves, perimeter jumpers and alley-oops were easily a game-high total.
"It was fun playing against (Horton-Tucker)," said St. Charles North leading scorer Kyle King, the lone player for the North Stars in double figures with 10 points. "He can do anything on the floor. I have no doubt he is going to succeed at the next level."
Simeon came to Pontiac after dropping two games to out-of-state opponents last weekend.
"It was a wake-up call," Horton-Tucker said. "It brought us back down to earth. We're not used to losing this early in the season."
The reigning Class 4A state runners-up will play Danville in the second semifinal on Saturday.
The North Stars will have Benet in a morning fifth-place semifinal.
King and Larson were the only St. Charles North players to score in the first two quarters.
Larson had a 3-point play with 3:52 to play in the first quarter, but Simeon scored 24 of the next 27 points to take a 33-10 lead into the intermission.
St. Charles North misfired on 15 of its 19 first-half field-goal attempts.
"Our game is inside-out, and we just didn't do that," King said. "We didn't give (Simeon) our best game."
Simeon, meanwhile, was at 51 percent for the game (24-for-47) in easing into the semifinals.
St. Charles North had much better offensive consistency in the second half.
Zach Ludwig, Brendan Del Dagen and Cade Callaghan all had 3-pointers in the second half for the North Stars.
But as improved as the North Stars' offensive proficiency was, it was not until Del Dagen connected on his field goal from beyond the arc that Simeon had no longer at least doubled the North Stars' output.
"We haven't seen anyone that physical," Poulin said of the Wolverines' fearsome defense. "They do a really good job of staying in front of you."
"That's a great shooting team," Simeon coach Rob Smith said of the North Stars. "I thought we did very well on both ends of the court."