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PSL hoopsters victorious at Holiday Classic

Pershing vs. Community

Pershing vs. Community CHUCK JOHNSON, DPS PHOTO

Local teams successful against metro area opponents

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

Some fans braved the cold and wintry elements during Christmas week to take in some hot high school basketball action in the warm confines of Renaissance High School. The fourth annual Detroit Public School League Holiday Hoops Classic held Dec. 26 and 27 at Renaissance featured DPS High Schools against other prep squads from the metro Detroit area. In eight of the contests, the PSL was victorious seven times.

During the first day of competition (Dec. 26) Henry Ford defeated Grosse Pointe North, 60-57; King beat Old Redford Academy, 53-48; Cass Tech stopped Windsor (Ontario) Catholic Central, 68-49; and Southeastern dominated Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy, 71-52.

In game one (Henry Ford-GP North), freshman guard Antwuan Cater led Ford (3-3) in scoring with 20 points and sophomore guard Joshua Davis contributed 11 points. GP North had three players in double figures, with junior guard Ricky Watson leading the way with 20 points. Senior guard Taiwan Wiggins scored 16 points and sophomore forward Tim Herd added 10.

“We have a real young team,” said Ford head coach Kenneth Flowers. “We still have a lot to learn.”

Trailing 11-10 in the second quarter, Ford went on scoring runs of 8-0 and 8-1 to lead 22-14 at the half. The Trojans led 38-30 after three periods, and 60-51 in the closing minutes of the fourth before the Norsemen made a late charge to make the game close. But the Trojans hung on for a well-earned victory.

In the second contest (King-Old Redford), King trailed the Ravens 21-16 after one period. However, the Crusaders (2-3) mounted a strong second period to tie the game at 31 apiece at the half. But Old Redford (0-5) had some hot shooting to take a 44-42 lead going into the fourth. The Crusaders stepped up their defense to hold the Ravens to four points in the final period to pull out the win.

“We have a lot of talent,” said King head coach Pierre Brooks. “We have to put it together. That work is in progress.”

Junior forward Dayvon Austin led King with 24 points while junior guard Dezmond Davis had 11. Old Redford was paced by the hot shooting of senior guard Dijuan Mitchell, who had 16 points, including five three pointers. Senior guard Damon Washington chipped in with 11.

The third contest had some international flair with Windsor Catholic Central, the fifth-ranked prep hoops squad in Canada, playing Detroit’s Cass Tech, ranked fifth in the state. Although the Technicians (4-1) led the entire game and had four players in double figures in the 68-49 win, Cass Tech head coach David Dixon wasn’t impressed by the performance of his players.

“We didn’t play well,” he said. “But we’re happy to come out with a win.”

“We appreciate the invitation,” said Windsor CC head coach Pete Cusumano. “We had seven players missing, three of them key players, who didn’t make it because they couldn’t get passports to cross the boarder.

“We come over to Detroit several times a year to play the teams over here. I know Dixon at Cass Tech. He’s a very good coach.”

The leading scorers for the Technicians were senior guard D’Andre Johnson (17 points), junior guard Mike Laster (14 points), senior forward Kyle Steward (12 points) and junior guard Kenny Carpenter (11 Points). The Comets of Windsor CC were led by senior guard Shavon Gayle with 15 points and senior forward Devonte Pierce with 12 points.

The nightcap of day one, which was supposed to be a close matchup, was very one-sided with Southeastern outscoring Chandler Park 71-52. The Jungaleers (4-2) played tight defense and worked well inside and shot well from the outside. Southeastern led 15-8 after one quarter and 31-26 at the half. The third period belonged to the Jungaleers, who outscored the Eagles 25-15 to secure a 56-41 lead heading into the fourth quarter, which belonged to Southeastern.

Senior guard Jovone Haynes led the Jungaleers in scoring with 22 points. Junior forward Leonard Harper-Baker scored 17 and junior forward Daryl Bingham added 15 for Southeastern. Chandler Park was led by senior guard Derrick Walton, who had a game-high 26 points. Senior center Tony Stallworth chipped in with 13 for Chandler Park.

Day 2: Pershing hangs on against Community

The nightcap game of day two of the Holiday Classic stole the show during the second day of competition. Pershing, ranked No. 1 in the state, faced another one of the potent charter school squads, Community High. The game went back and forth until the closing seconds. The Doughboys, trailing 54-53 with 29 seconds left, scored on a jumper by senior guard Kahlil Felder to go up for good at 55-54. Felder hit two more free throws to seal the win.

Senior guard Martez Walker led Pershing (6-0) with 21 points while Felder scored 16. Community was led by senior Jerrell Martin with 22 points and senior Byron Ziegler with 15 points.

In other games played during the second day of competition:

– Junior guard Marqywell Jackson and senior forward Antoine Benford scored 24 points apiece as East English Village (4-2) routed Harrison Township L’anse Creuse 71-43. No one scored in double figures for L’anse Creuse

– Led by 23 points by senior Jeff Grear, Southfield (7-0) handed the PSL its only loss at the Holiday Classic with a 68-62 win over Renaissance (1-5). Senior Earl Swift added 10 for the winning Bluejays while the Phoenix got 11 points from senior guard Clark Bishop

- In the second game of day two, Fredrick Douglass clobbered Harper Woods 67-40

– In the only girls game of the program, King (5-0) got 23 points from junior forward Marte Grays ands 22 from senior guard Antania Hayes as the Crusaders routed Northwestern 74-35. The losing Colts (2-3) got 14 points from senior guard Shavarra Patton and 10 points from senior center Trebion Berry.

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