Pershing rolls over U of D Jesuit, 74-59
King, Cass Tech win girls matchups as PSL takes three of four games
By Harry M. Anderson, Jr.
Special to the Michigan Citizen
DETROIT — After a two-year drought against the Catholic High School League (CHSL), the Operation Friendship Championship has returned to the Detroit Public School League (PSL). Both Pershing’s boys and King’s girls had well-earned victories, while Cass Tech gained a split in their matches against CHSL opponents.
Pershing showed why they were not only the Detroit PSL Champions, but the No. 1 team in Class A as the Doughboys (20-0) dominated CHSL Champion University of Detroit Jesuit (16-4), 74-59 in the Operation Friendship Championship game March 1 at Western International. The Doughboys were led by senior guards Kahlil Felder (22 points) and Martez Walker (13 points). Senior forward Tommie Pearson chipped in with eight points. The Cubs (16-4) got 13 points from freshman forward Cassius Winston, 10 points from senior guard Andrew Horde and nine points from Malik Howze.
The Doughboys jumped all over the Cubs as they built a 24-12 lead after one period of play. In the second period, the sharp shooting of the Pershing starting five was too much for U of D High as they held the Cubs to just eight points. The Doughboys poured on 19 points to lead 43-20 at the half.
At the start of the second half, Pershing was working like a well-oiled machine with great team work that included sharp shooting and great passing. Pershing led 63-39 after three periods. Doughboys head coach Wydell Henry then rested his starters and emptied the bench with reserves. The Cubs cut the lead to 15 (71-56), but the game was already decided.
“This was a great victory to get ready for the state tournament,” said Henry. “We have to win eight games to win the state championship.
“The PSL lost this game the last two years. This win is a very important one for the PSL. This was a great game and U of D High is a much better team than they have ever been. We were the better team tonight.”
In the consolation game, Cass Tech (16-3) got off to a slow start against CHSL runner-up Warren DeLaSalle (16-4) because the Technicians were short two starters. The players were disciplined because they missed a day of practice during the week. However, Cass Tech rallied in the second half, but its rally wasn’t enough as the Technicians fell to the Pilots 55-52.
Junior guard Kenny Carpenter led Cass Tech with 15 points. Senior guard D’Andre Johnson scored 11 while senior forward DeAngelo Stewart and senior forward Leonard Hall scored nine each. De La Salle was led by senior guard Anthony Tillman with 14 points, freshman forward Kevin McKay with 13, junior guard A.J. Turner with 10 and junior forward Giovanni Rescigno with eight.
In the girls version of Operation Friendship, played Feb. 22 at Birmingham Marian, it was a clean sweep for the Detroit PSL. PSL Champion King defeated CHSL Champion Marian, 36-33, and PSL runner-up Cass Tech routed CHSL runner-up Dearborn Divine Child 57-36. In the championship game for King, Marte Grays led the Lady Crusaders (20-0) with 11 points. In consolation game for Cass Tech, Kashawna Sampson led the Technicians (17-1) with 16 points.