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Detroit teams provide fireworks at Southfield High

Pershing’s Martez Walker in action.

Pershing’s Martez Walker in action.

Battle of the Best Holiday Showcase

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

DETROIT — Local prep teams from Detroit’s public and charter schools took part in the second annual Battle of the Best Holiday Showcase held Dec. 15 at Southfield High School. Sponsored by Prep Spotlight Magazine, the weekend hoops invitational featured five games, three of them involving schools from Detroit PSL and two local charter schools: Southfield against. East English Village, Cass Tech versus Community High and the feature game, Pershing against Consortium Collegiate Prep.

In the first contest, East English led the majority of the game only to come up short to the Blue Jays of Southfield High, the host team, 59-56 when junior guard Marqywell Jackson missed a three-point shot at the buzzer. The Bulldogs led 29-26 at the half and 41-37 through three quarters.

“We’re a young team and we have a lot of time to get better,” said East English head coach Juan Rickman.

“We will get better as the season progresses through hard work and making better game decisions.”

Jackson led East English with 20 points and senior forward Antoine Benford with 17. The winning Blue Jays were led by senior forward Earl Swift (18 points) and junior guard Jeff Greear (13 points) for Southfield.

In the second contest, Cass Tech dominated Community High. The Technicians’ defensive quickness silenced the Hurricanes 55-34.

The hot-shooting, board-crashing Technicians smothered Community High leading 13-3 after one period and 21-13 at the half despite being outscored 10-8 in the second period and only hitting one of 12 free throws.

The second half belonged to Cass Tech as the Technicians held the Hurricanes to just six points in the third period to lead 38-19 going into the fourth.

“Community High is a very good team despite the final score,” said Cass Tech head coach Dave Dixon. “We did a good posted up with them.

“We had solid team on defense because we held them to about 30 points. However, we couldn’t hit our free throws in the second period (1-for-12), but we did better in the second half. The PSL West is always competitive, but our kids play hard and tough.”

There were three Cass Tech players in double figures led by junior guard Mike Laster (14 points), junior guard Kenny Carpenter (13 points) and senior forward Kyle Steward (10 points). Senior forward Demetrius Rose had 12 points for Community.

The night cap game featured unbeaten Pershing against Consortium Collegiate Prep. Throughout the contest, the Doughboys stayed hot and dominated the Cougars. But the game stayed competitive. When it seemed that Pershing was going to put Consortium away, the Cougars would storm back and keep the contest close.

Pershing led 22-10 after one quarter, 39-30 at the half and 58-44 after three. It seemed that Pershing had the game in the bag, leading 68-61 with two minutes to play.

But things got interesting down to the wire. Consortium cut the Pershing lead to 69-68 with 1:09 left on a pair of free throws by freshman guard Michael Jackson. Senior guard Martez Walker was the savior for the Doughboys when he hit a pair of free throws with 26.8 seconds left (71-68), another pair with 13.1 seconds left (73-70) and one of two with 5.7 seconds left (74-70). A three-pointer at the buzzer by Consortium’s junior guard Ronald Booth was good, but Pershing won 74-73.

Woodson led the Doughboys with 26 points. Senior guard Lorenzo Collier had 17 while senior guard Kahilil Felder had 17. The Cougars were led by senior forward Vincent Hunter with 26 points and Jackson with 18.

“We have to do a better job closing out contests,” said Pershing head coach Wydell Henry.

“We didn’t play a lot of defense and the fourth period got rough,” Henry says. The team will continue to get ready for the PSL East because “it’s going to be rough.”

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