Southeastern to face Pershing in final
By Harry M. Anderson, Jr.
Special to the Michigan Citizen
Defending PSL Champion Pershing will make its third trip to the Detroit PSL Finals in three years. The Doughboys (17-2) out-hustled the Frederick Douglass Academy 82-68.
“We played one of our better games,” said Pershing Head Coach Wydell Henry. “We played inside and out around the basket. We were able to penetrate the inside under the basket.”
Their zone defense enabled the Doughboys to build a lead as big as 20 points during the contest. Senior forward Justin Tillman led the Doughboys with 27 points — hitting 12 of 17 shots. Junior guard Marquel Ingram fired in 20, while senior guard Mory Diane scored 17.
The Doughboys’ victory forces a second showdown and a return matchup with the Southeastern Jungaleers who defeated Pershing by two points during the regular season.
During the month of December, the Jungaleers were off to a below .500 start with five losses. Some were saying their appearance in the last year’s Class A State Finals was a flash in the pan. By January, Head Coach George Ward somehow made some adjustments and tweaking to his line and now Southeastern, now 13-6 are in this year’s PSL Final at Detroit Mercy’s Calihan Hall.
The Jungaleers punched their ticket to the finals thanks to a tip-in by senior forward Leonard Harper-Baker with just three-seconds left to lift Southeastern to a 44-43 victory over Cass Tech (12-5) in a PSL semi-final game at Cass Tech. Last year, the same two teams met in the semi-finals and the Technicians won on a tip-in basket at the buzzer.
The game was a low-scoring defensive game. The Jungaleers led 13-6 after one period, but the Technicians clamped down on defense in the second period and held the Jungaleers to five points. The Technicians scored 16 points in the period to take a 22-18 halftime lead. They led 34-37 after three periods.
But the Jungaleers stormed back and made it a close game again. The Jungaleers’ trip to the PSL Final was secure for one basket courtesy of Harper-Baker.
There were only two players who scored in double figures; one for each team: Senior D’Cari Charleston for Southeastern with 13 points and senior guard Kenny Carpenter for the Technicians with 12 points.
In quarter-final action on Feb. 11 at East English Village High, Pershing tuned back Osborn 72-63 and Frederick Douglass blew out Renaissance 59-26. At Western International, Southeastern dumped Henry Ford 80-63, while Cass Tech shut down East English Village 80-62.
The Pershing-Southeastern matchup will take place Feb. 21 at 7:30 pm. at University of Detroit Mercy.