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Comeback from last season

Pershing over Cass Tech: Pershing’s Kahlil Felder passes ball between Cass Tech players. CHUCK JOHNSON, DPS PHOTO

Pershing over Cass Tech: Pershing’s Kahlil Felder passes ball between Cass Tech players.

Pershing turns back Cass Tech to regain boys’ title, 81-61

By Harry M. Anderson, Jr.
Special to the Michigan Citizen

Last season, the Pershing boys basketball squad was top-ranked in the state (Class A). But after the PSL Championship, they left Calihan Hall with their spirits shattered after losing to King.

This season, however, was a different scenario as the top-ranked (Class A) Doughboys manhandled a very good Cass Tech squad, 81-61, Feb. 22 at the Detroit PSL Basketball Championship at Calihan Hall on the campus of the University of Detroit Mercy.

The Doughboys (19-0) put in a solid performance as four players scored in double figures. Senior guard Martez Walker had a game-high 22 points; senior guard Lorenzo Collier and junior forward Justin Tillman scored 17 points apiece, while senior guard Kahlil Felder fired in10 despite early foul trouble.

This was Pershing’s seventh PSL Championship in the school’s history and third title in five years.

The Technicians (16-2) got balanced scoring from senior guard D’andre Johnson (16 points) and senior forwards Deangelo Stewart and Kyle Steward (10 points each). This was Cass Tech first appearance in the PSL Finals since 1998.

“Last season, we left this same place with our heads down twice,” said Pershing head coach Wydell Henry. “We lost the PSL crown to King the first time and to Romulus in the state quarterfinals the second time. It feels good to get it (PSL Title) back to Pershing.

“This Pershing squad is a tough team because throughout this season we’ve been battle-tested by all comers. We’re going to come across Cass Tech again in the (state) districts or regional. It’s time now to get ready for Operation Friendship, which will prepare us for the state tournament.”

Cass Tech, meanwhile, looks to build off its prior successes.

“We didn’t do what we had to do,” said Cass Tech head coach David Dixon. “At times we broke down. We made our run, but they hit us back with quick baskets.

“They (Pershing) have a lot of experience by being here before. We’re building a championship program while Pershing already has championship program.”

The first period was close with Pershing leading 21-17 after the first. But the Doughboys held the Technicians to nine points to their 16 to lead 37-26 at the half.

Towards the end of the third, Pershing outscored Cass Tech 12-4 to end the period leading 56-40. The fourth period belonged to the Doughboys, despite the Technicians’ gallant effort to catch up.

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