Consortium Prep wins Class C hoops title
Cougars overpower Pewamo-Westphalia to win state basketball crown
By Harry M. Anderson, Jr.
Special to the Michigan Citizen
Consortium Prep won its first-ever state championship March 22 at the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Boys’ State Basketball Championship held in Lansing at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center. Senior guard Ronald Booth and his fellow Cougars didn’t win the state title for only themselves, their school, community and families, but also for their late coach who recently passed away.
“We did it for our former coach, Al Anderson, who’s no longer with us,” Booth said. “We dedicated this season to him. I know he’s smiling down on us.”
Anderson, who coached Consortium last season, died due to heart complications. Consortium fulfilled one of Anderson’s goals as the Cougars (25-2) defeated Pewamo-Westphalia 61-44 to win the MHSAA Class C Boys’ Basketball title.
Tobias Tuomi took over as head coach this season and is pleased he had the opportunity to guide this group of 11 student-athletes.
“It’s terrific and a great feeling to be able to coach these young men to a championship,” he said. “I’m happy for our team, the school, the community and the people who wanted me here to work with these boys.”
Consortium jumped out to a great start over Pewamo-Westphalia to take a 21-10 after one period of play. But things got shaky in the second period, as the Cougars managed only six points to the Pirates 21. Consortium was clinging to a 27-25 halftime lead.
“Pewamo-Westphalia started to hit a lot of their shots in the second period,” Tuomi said. “I told the boys at halftime we needed to play better and believe in each other.”
Senior guard/forward Kenneth Turner encouraged his teammates during the break. “(I told them) we worked hard all season and we’re going all out to win this,” he told the Michigan Citizen.
The Cougars gave it their all in the second half outscoring the Pirates 21-12 in the third period to take 48-37 lead after three periods of play. They then turned up the defense to hold the Pirates to seven points to their 13 in the fourth period to wrap up the victory and take the Class C Championship back to Detroit.
Sophomore forward Joshua Jackson led the Cougars with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Booth and senior guard Rudy Smith scored 14 points each for the Class C State Champion Cougars.
“It’s great to come back with a state championship,” Booth said. “It was a shock at first because I couldn’t believe we won it.
An excited Turner attributed their win to the team’s “tough schedule.”
“We played Pershing, Southeastern, Douglass, Romulus, Country Day and Saginaw Arthur Hill,” he said. “I feel like all my high school goals are complete winning the state championship. Words can’t describe my feelings. I was happy to be with my teammates after the game and on the bus ride back to Detroit.”