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January 19, 2007

Smith, Oak Hill fall in Chicago

Oak Hill's 22-0 record and number one national ranking didn't faze Chicago Simeon Thursday night at the Old Spice High School Showcase at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.

Led by future Memphis point guard Derrick Rose, the Wolverines scored a 78-75 upset over Duke signee Nolan Smith and his Warriors teammates.

Rose dominated the game, scoring 28 points and handing out nine assists to engineer the victory, which wasn't as close as the final score indicated.

Simeon held a 68-54 lead in the closing minutes before Oak Hill made a flurry in the final seconds that was clearly too little too late.

Smith, who averages 22.1 points per game, scored just 12 points for Oak Hill and fouled out in the fourth quarter with his team clearly heading for defeat. He and backcourt mate Brandon Jennings struggled to obtain or sustain any type of momentum all game, although Jennings did score 14 points in the closing minutes to help pull the Warriors closer.

Even Smith's usually stout defense wasn't as sharp as normal. Rose went by Smith to setup teammate Daniel Green for outside jumpers and the Wolverines held a 40-30 lead at halftime after Rose took a steal nearly coast-to-coast for a layup just before halftime.

The two teams met in December, 2005 at the Marshall County Hoopfest in Kentucky, where Oak Hill earned a tight 63-57 win despite another huge performance from Rose, who was one assist and two rebounds shy of a triple-double in the Thursday night win over the top ranked Warriors.

There is no time for Oak Hill to dwell on its first defeat of the season. The Warriors began a stretch Thursday night of three games in three days.

Friday night they face off against Franklin County (Va.) and Saturday night they battle Miller School (Va.).


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