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Simeon topple Huntington to win inaugural MPAC tournament

Close game: Simeon (c) overcame Huntington Prep for the title yesterday
Close game: Simeon (c) overcame Huntington Prep for the title yesterday

Simeon claimed the first ever MPAC Elite International Tournament title by topping Huntington Prep, finishing off an entertaining week of basketball at GEMS World Academy on Saturday.

Leading the way for the Chicago-based high school in the 83-78 win was DJ Williams, named Most Valuable Player for his game-high 32 points. The 6-foot-7 forward spurred Simeon to an early double-digit lead and finished the effort with dazzling shooting.

“I was the hot man this game and my team-mates trusted me and gave me the ball,” said Williams, who has committed to play at the University of Illinois.

Huntington fought back throughout the contest as Ronshad Shabazz and Thomas Bryant kept their team in contention. The smooth-stroking Shabazz netted 27 points in his duel with Williams, while centre Bryant provided backboard-rattling dunks to score his 31.

In the third-place game, Utah Reign, an Amateur Athletic Union team comprised of players from Lone Peak high school, rebounded from their semi-final defeat to beat Montverde Academy 92-89.

Frank Jackson scored 42 points to cap his run of 40 and 50-point games earlier in the week. The high-flying guard even took home the crown in the slam dunk contest, highlighted by his two-handed, between-the-legs pump jam and a two-handed windmill, both of which earned him the full 40 points from the four judges.

MVP Williams was all praise for Dubai and said afterwards: “Dubai is beautiful.

“It’s pretty hot and I don’t really like the heat, but other than that, there’s a lot of nice cars and houses."