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Illinois prep gamer

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by CentralIllinoisan, May 1, 2007.

  1. CentralIllinoisan

    CentralIllinoisan Active Member

    IPA contests coming up. Thinking of entering title gamer. Thoughts? This is a deadline piece; had about 45 minutes.


    PEORIA, Ill. - Flowers bloomed. Orange blossomed. And Rose smelled ever so sweet - even with just two points.

    Top-rated Chicago Simeon fulfilled its seemingly inevitable destiny Saturday night, dismantling upstart O'Fallon, 77-54 in the Class AA state title game at Carver Arena.

    The nationally ranked Wolverines are the final champions of the two-class era - and the first Chicago Public League team to win back-to-back state titles.

    "There are tears of joy, for missing my friends," said 6-foot-6 post player Tim Flowers, who scored a game-high 35 with 12 rebounds. "I've known most of these guys for years, and this is it for us. It's coming to an end."

    What a sweet ending it was.

    Simeon (33-2) controlled O'Fallon in the paint, expanding the lead to as many as 29 before reserves ended the game. Flowers and future Wisconsin-Milwaukee teammate Kevin Johnson combined for 55 points and 19 rebounds. Flowers' 35 points fell six shy of the Class AA record for points in a title game.

    "There's nothing we could do; we just don't have kids that strong," O'Fallon coach Rick Gibson said. "They were just able to push us out of the way."

    If Flowers and Johnson were the fire by which Simeon's championship freight train sped, Rose was the fuel.

    The Memphis-bound point guard ended the game 0-for-7 from the field and 2-for-4 from the free-throw line - but assisted on eight baskets and added four steals.

    "When we were coming over here tonight, Derrick said, 'I want to show people I'm the No. 1 point guard in the country,' " Simeon coach Robert Smith said. "I thought he was going to come out here and shoot a whole lot of shots.

    "All he ended up worrying about was how many assists he had."

    Simeon, which ended the season with 22 consecutive wins, took control late in the first half. The Wolverines scored 20 of the first 24 in the second quarter to take a 36-17 lead with 3 minutes remaining in the period.

    Simeon dominated inside during the first half, Flowers scoring 18 of his 35 and Johnson adding 14. The duo shot 11-for-17 and grabbed 11 rebounds before halftime. Rose was catalyst, assisting on four in the period.

    "We keyed so much on Rose," O'Fallon senior Brad Copelin said, "we forgot about the post players."

    O'Fallon (28-8) kept within striking distance with runs to end each the first and second quarters. A driving layin by Mike Malat and a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from junior Kenny Leverette pulled the Panthers within 16-13 to end the first.

    After Simeon's 20-4 push in the second, O'Fallon - which missed 10 of its

    first 12 in the period, including all seven 3s - responded with a 12-5 push of its own. Panthers junior Jared Woolfolk hit two 3s in the run, ending with a team-high 17 points.

    "I wasn't shooting with confidence early in the game, but then I saw they weren't guarding me," Woolfolk said. "We were in the game for a while, but we dug too big of a hole and couldn't catch up."

    Flowers played the game with a wrap on his left hand, injured about a month ago. The injury didn't show Saturday night, his dominance taking its place among state-finals lore.

    "This is my last time playing with Tim Flowers," Rose said. "He's the best big man in the nation."

    And now, maybe Simeon can claim its place nationally.

    "The ultimate goal for us was to be state champs," Smith said, "but I don't see why - if Oak Hill has one loss, and it was to us, and we won all our games since - that we aren't the national champs."

    O'Fallon ends an improbable run to the state finals, coming into the year without ever having won a sectional game. Now, the Panthers can begin a tradition.

    "We set standards for years to come," said Copelin, who scored 10 and grabbed 11 rebounds. "Right now, I feel like I should have competed a little better, but I'm sure after this I'll feel nothing but excitement."
  2. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    I don't know. It's a solid story, but I was a bit thrown off by the lede. It included Rose, but you immediately jumped to Flowers, Johnson and the opposing coach, before specifically mentioning the No. 2 recruit in the nation. Also, unless I missed it, you didn't mention his full name on first reference.

    Also, O'Fallon sucks. ;)
  3. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    Lead was a bit much, probably a lesson to not try and be so, ahem, flowery, on a quick deadline story (esp. preps where you're doing some legwork) and just try for a crisp lead. I'd enter it though, what the fuck.
  4. dawgpounddiehard

    dawgpounddiehard Active Member

    Oh, I'd enter it. That's what's so fucked up about contests, this year I entered something in a state contest that I though was hokey and not my strongest stuff, of course it won. On piece I was proud of that won (and won nationally), yeah, didn't show up.

    But I agree on the lede. My first pass, I didn't like it, but I gave it time, tried to figure out where you were going, but still struggled to piece it together.

    Other than that, it's a solid gamer. It can be a guide for younger writers on how to do a gamer.
  5. CentralIllinoisan

    CentralIllinoisan Active Member

    I've found that many of the contest gamers have more to do with the importance of the event rather than the solidity of the writing ... one of the main reasons I was considering it.
  6. dawgpounddiehard

    dawgpounddiehard Active Member

    Good point. It seems like some of the stuff that wins is more about the topic rather than the actual writing... doens't make much sense to me. Are these contest for content or actually ability? Ugh.

    Anyway, you got both here... go for it.
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