Pershing wins on buzzer beater
Felder’s last-second shot wins Class A Regional for Doughboys, 62-60, over U of D Jesuit
By Harry M. Anderson, Jr.
Special to the Michigan Citizen
DETROIT — When University of Detroit Jesuit freshman guard Cassius Winston fired in a three-point basket with under a minute to play to tie the game at 60 on March 13, U of D fans in attendance at Southfield High went crazy hoping the tied game would at least result in overtime.
But Pershing senior guard Kahlil Felder had other ideas.
With 44 seconds left, Felder and his fellow Doughboys stalled to take time off the clock to keep the Cubs from making a comeback three-pointer to win the game. They didn’t want to call time out to allow U of D to set up a defense to stop them. Pershing worked the ball around and when it got back to Felder he made his move to the basket with 11.5 seconds left. Guarded by an opposing U of D player, the Pershing guard dribbled closer to the basket and when he got to the free-throw line, Felder hit a fade away jumper that hit the backboard and went in at the buzzer.
Game over: 62-60, Doughboys.
The Pershing side of the gym was cheering in total frenzy of bedlam and mayhem; the U of D Jesuit side of the gym was stunned in total silence and disbelief.
This is why the MHSAA High School State Basketball Playoffs are called March Madness. The packed gym at Southfield High saw an all-Detroit final with both prep teams — one public, the other Catholic — put on a display of great basketball skill and ability as Pershing eked out a 62-60 win over a very good U of D Jesuit squad to win the MHSAA Class A Region 22 Championship to advance to this week’s quarter-final round at U of D Mercy.
The Doughboys (25-0) got balanced scoring from junior forward Justin Tillman (19 points), senior guard Martez Walker (17 points), Felder (15 points) and junior guard Darsean Woodson (9 points). The Cubs (19-5) got an outstanding performance from senior guard Andrew Horde with a game-high 28 points. Also scoring for U of D were Winston (11 points) and senior guard Malik Howze (9 points).
“This is why they call it March Madness,” said Pershing head coach Wydell Henry. “You won’t see any blowouts around this time of the year. All the games are going to be close.
“U of D is going to be great team in the future. They took their best shot and almost won it. Our kids are going to play hard. A win is a win and we’ll take it. We have to get ready for the next round.”
The Cubs were off to a good start and led 18-14 after one period of play. However the Doughboys turned up the defense and started hitting their shots, allowing U of D to score only five points to their 14 in the second quarter to take a 28-23 lead at the half.
In the third quarter, the balance of play was about even with U of D outscoring Pershing, 17-16. But the Doughboys still led 44-40 after three quarters. As the fourth quarter was winding down, Pershing led 56-46, but the Cubs with their hot three-point shooters tied the game in the closing seconds, leaving it up to Felder and the rest of the Doughboys.
As their season ended at the buzzer, U of D Jesuit head coach Pat Donnelly had nothing but praise for his players.
“These kids have great heart,” he said. “They have great determination and are very unselfish.
“Our team, especially the seniors, played with determination the whole season. We came into this game with a chance to win it. We were expecting to win this game. Our seniors were great to lead the younger players to build a better program for the future at U of D High.”
- Class A — Southeastern (19-5) also advanced to the quarter-finals with a 54-49 overtime win over Macomb L’Anse Creuse North March 13 at the Class A Regional at Grosse Point North. JaVone Haynes scored a team-high 20 points for the Jungaleers; he scored six of his points in the overtime period. Daryl Bingham also helped out Southeastern with 12 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
Both Pershing and Southeastern played this week in state playoff action. Results will be in the next issue of the Citizen.
- Class B — Frederick Douglass Academy’s campaign for a state championship came to an end March 13 when the Hurricanes (17-7) lost to Birmingham Detroit Country Day, 73-51, at the Class B Regional. Terrell Hales scored 15 points for Douglass.