Ford and Western Represent PSL In East Lansing

28 Mar

2d725adFor the first time in a league with as much decorated tradition as the Detroit Public School League holds, 2015 might be the most historic.  Two teams will represent the league in East Lansing for state championships, Western in Class A, and Henry Ford in Class B.

Western, the state’s number one ranked team, won the city championship this season, and have met few teams that can match the Cowboys’ combination of depth, height, and skill.

Ford on the other hand certainly has had to claw and fight their way to Michigan State’s campus.  The Trojans went just 5-4 in league, which included a 72-55 setback to Western January 27th.  In the playoffs, however, Ford has played with greater poise and confidence.  After narrow wins against both CMA and Community in the district tournament, Ford outlasted defending Class C champion Consortium, and Class B first ranked New Haven in consecutive games to secure a spot in East Lansing.

bildeThe opportunity present for the schools is also significant because of the coaches that roam the sidelines, Western’s Derrick McDowell, and Ford’s Ken Flowers.  Flowers, a ’96 graduate of Detroit Redford, was prepped by McDowell in a Husky uniform.  And when McDowell departed Redford following the 2005 campaign, Flowers assumed the role of head coach until 2007 when the school closed.  Both Flowers and McDowell guided the Huskies to two separate Class A final four appearances, ’04 and ’07.

Flowers admits the transition was difficult from Redford to Ford, considering the two were bitter west side rivals for years in the city.  Still Flowers has been able to break lines which use to divide both schools and communities, but believes basketball extends far beyond the lines.

“It’s a blessing,” said Flowers.  “It’s big for me coming from Redford to Henry Ford.  That community is huge over there.  I’ve been getting e-mails and calls the last two weeks from Henry Ford alumni all the way back to ’71.  It’s amazing how basketball can bring a community together like this.”

Ford plays Godwin Heights Saturday, and Western takes on Arthur Hill.

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