Fourth period comeback
Pershing wins PSL Crown in OT, 57-56
By Harry M. Anderson, Jr.
Special to the Michigan Citizen
With Southeastern leading 50-39 with only three minutes remaining in the contest, it looked like Pershing’s quest for a second Detroit PSL Championship was over. But the Doughboys’ head coach Wydell Henry had other plans.
“Down by 11 points, I called timeout and I told them to fight,” Henry said in post-game interview. “I told them to fight to the end. We lost to them the first time, 81-79 during the regular season. This time we didn’t go down.”
Those inspiring words enabled the Doughboys to defeat the Jungaleers in a spectacular comeback, 57-56, in overtime at the Detroit Public School League basketball Championships on Feb. 21 in University of Detroit Mercy’s Calihan Hall.
The win gave the Doughboys their second straight PSL Title and raised their record to 18-2. Jungaleers dropped to 13-7.
In those closing minutes, the Doughboys racked up 12 points, which included the tying basket by senior guard Mory Diane on a jumper in the lane with 33.2 seconds left. The Jungaleers had a chance to win the contest in regulation, but senior guard Davon Brassell went off the rim and Doughboys’ senior forward Justin Tillman grabbed the rebound to force overtime.
In the overtime period, the Doughboys jumped out to a 56-52 lead on a pair of free throws by junior guard Marquel Ingram and a slam dunk by Tillman. The Jungaleers closed the lead on a pair of free throws by Brassell and another free throw senior forward Leonard Harper-Baker.
Senior forward Dwayne Embry sank one of two free throws to extend the Doughboys lead by a basket (57-55) while Harper-Baker pulled the Jungaleers to within one at 57-56. With 6.2 seconds left, Pershing senior forward Kameron Barden missed a pair of free throws enabling Southeastern to get the rebound. However, backcourt pressure by the Doughboys kept the Jungaleers to get the ball up court ending the game at the buzzer.
For the first three periods of the game and much of the fourth period, the Jungaleers ran on all cylinders at both ends of the court: hitting their free throws, scoring outside and within the perimeter of the basket on offense and crashing the boards and blocking shots on defense. They led 21-9 after one period, 29-19 at the half and 42-36 after three periods.
Diane paced the Doughboys with 15 points. Braden scored 13 points and pulled down 10 rebounds and senior guard Darsean Woodson scored 10 points. Although Tillman was held to just eight points, he also pulled down 18 rebounds and blocked five shots.
The Jungaleers got 15 points, 13 rounds and six blocks from Harper-Baker, 12 points and nine rebounds from senior guard D’Cari Charleston and ten points from senior guard Keylon Oliver.
“It didn’t bother me that we were down,” said Woodson. “We just had to get stops on defense and score in transition. I said no foul, get a stop. We know not to give up. We usually start slow and comeback hard. Our main goal now is be state champs.”
Barden told the Michigan Citizen, “It feels good to be back on top. This win is huge for us because the state playoffs are coming.”
Even in defeat, the Jungaleers led a season to be proud of. They started their season with a 0-5 record, but after the Christmas they won 12 of their next 13 games, including an 81-79 win over Pershing, to make the PSL Championship.