WHEELING, W.Va. — Jabari Parker confirmed his presence a few times Saturday during Simeon's 82-53 loss to Montverde. Like when he made two first-quarter 3-pointers, or when he unleashed a well of frustration with a one-handed dunk in the fourth quarter.
"Jabari, he's back," Simeon coach Robert Smith said of Parker's return from a fractured right foot.
Now Simeon, ranked 12th by ESPN and second by the Tribune, needs to locate its guards, Smith said.
Parker had 17 points and 13 rebounds at the Cancer Research Classic at Wheeling Jesuit University, but sophomore forward Edward Morrow (10 points) was the only other Simeon player to score in double figures as the Wolverines disappointed in their second nationally televised game this season.
Smith called out Illinois-bound guards Kendrick Nunn and Jaylon Tate, who combined for 10 points, four assists and six of Simeon's 19 turnovers in a loss to the team ranked No. 1 in the nation by ESPN.
"If Kendrick and Jaylon don't play, we're not going to be a very good team," Smith said. "They're committed to go to the University of Illinois. They've got to be better than that.
"They have to show up in these types of games."
Simeon (9-2) was severely overmatched by Montverde (16-0), a Florida prep school that draws players from all over the country.
Dakari Johnson, Kentucky's new 6-foot-11 commit as of Saturday night, hulked in the lane for 18 points and 15 rebounds. Florida-bound point guard Kasey Hill sped to 13 points and six steals, and Justin Bibbs made jumper after jumper to finish with 13 points.
Simeon trailed 15-14 after the first quarter, when Parker started quickly with eight points.
"I don't give myself any excuses; I don't care if I was out four months," Parker said."If I'm going out there, I need to go as hard as possible or I shouldn't be out there in the first place."
Montverde went on a 10-0 run to start the second quarter and led 43-24 by halftime. Simeon seniors Russell Woods and Kendall Pollard got into foul trouble in the second half, and the Wolverines could do little to climb back in the game.
"We knew they had a strong six, seven (players), but we didn't expect them to come out and do that to us," Pollard said. "We were trying to speed up and play their game. We didn't play our game tonight."
Player of the game: Dakari Johnson, Montverde, 18 points, 15 rebounds.