Curie knocks off Simeon for title at Pontiac Holiday Tournament
By Michael O’Brien Staff Reporter December 28, 2013 11:19PM
Curie's Cliff Alexander screams with teammates after defeating Simeon. | Patrick Gleason/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 30, 2014 6:57AM
PONTIAC, Ill. —The moment was special for Curie coach Mike Oliver. He knows what people say throughout the city and state.
Curie has never won a sectional, never won a city title, never even won a holiday tournament. How can you take that program seriously when Simeon and Young and Morgan Park roam the city scene?
Saturday at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament, Oliver and No. 3 Curie took the first step towards eradicating the stigma, knocking off No. 6 Simeon 62-59 to win the championship.
“It feels good to get that monkey off our back,” said Oliver. “We got it over a great program. [Simeon coach Robert Smith] is my best friend and he’s been my nemesis. I’m just so happy.”
“It means a lot to go down here and give that to him,” said Cliff Alexander. “He was tired of it. I had to bring it home for them.”
It was Alexander who brought Curie (10-0) to the title game, but it was a pair of brothers, Josh (17 points) and Joe Stamps (12 points), who brought home the title.
Simeon limited Alexander to 16 points, 12 rebounds, six blocks and two dunks — about half what he put up against every other team.
“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell people, we aren’t a one-man band,” said Oliver. “We have those shooters on the outside.”
Curie shot 8-for-16 from three-point range in the game.
“That’s what Josh and Joseph are capable of,” said Alexander. “I told them at halftime, be patient.”
Ed Morrow led Simeon with 16 points and 10 boards. Donte Ingram and DJ Williams added 13 points and Zack Norvell had 10. Simeon won the past three Pontiac titles.