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U-D Jesuit wins thriller

U-D Jesuit wins Boys Basketball Regionals

Cubs nip Cass Tech in closing seconds

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

Last season, members of the University of Detroit Jesuit Basketball squad held their heads down as the Cubs lost to the Pershing Doughboys in the closing seconds of the Class A Regional at Southfield. The Doughboys hit a basket as the buzzer ending their season and hopes at a state title.

This season was a different story for the Cubs. The Cubs (22-2) defeated the Cass Tech Technicians (18-6) in the closing seconds of the MHSAA Class A Regional Final March 13 at Cass Tech, 52-51.

“The Pershing loss (last year) was a heartbreaker, because we lost it at the buzzer,” said of U-D Head Coach Pat Donnelly. “Our kids remembered that and didn’t want to repeat it.”

Donnelly said the win was not only good for U-D but the competition overall was great for the city of Detroit. “Because you had two local teams going at it,” he said.

The match up was even as both teams exchanged baskets on both ends. The game was tied 14-14 after one period of play. The Technicians got a good jump on the Cubs in the second period outscoring them 22-16.  The Cubs rallied later in the period to take 27-26 lead thanks to a pair of back-to-back baskets by junior guard Gary Collins. But the Technicians answered with a jumper by senior guard Michael Laster in the closing seconds, giving them a 28-27 halftime lead.

The Cubs took control of the third period holding the Technicians to eight points. They scored 14 points in the period to take a 41-36 lead.

The Technicians rallied to take the lead in the fourth period. Senior guard Kenneth Carpenter hit a layup with 3:58 left to tie the game at 44-44 and a three-pointer with 2:37 left to give the Technicians a 47-46 lead. Laster’s three-point play gave his team a 50-46 cushion with around a minute to play. But the Cubs didn’t throw in a towel; baskets by junior forward Charles Primas (54.8 seconds) and sophomore guard Cassius Winston (31.7 seconds) in the closing seconds tied the contest 50-50.

With 6.2 seconds left, Technicians’ junior guard Robert Edwards went to the line with a possibility to put the game away on a pair of free throws, but he only made one of the two. U-D’s Winston took the ball down court and was fouled with 0.5 seconds left. He went to the free throw line and sank both free throws to win it for the Cubs.

“I knew if I knocked down both free throws, we were going to advance,” Winston said. “After the time out, Coach (Donnelly) told me to knock down each shot with confidence. After I made the first one, I knew we had the game.”

Winston led U-D Jesuit in scoring with 15 points while senior forward Noah King added 10. The Technicians got 15 points from Edwards and 14 from Carpenter.

The Cubs advanced to the quarter-finals against Romulus at the University of Detroit Mercy March 18. If they win, they will advance to the Class A Semi-finals at Michigan State University in East Lansing. Results of this week’s game will be in the next issue of the Michigan Citizen.

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