Tag Archives: Pershing

Pershing Tops Southeastern To Claim City Championship

22 Feb


One of the hardest tasks in sports is to defend a championship, especially when the opponent is your bitter division rival who beat you earlier in the year.  However, Pershing was able to outlast Southeastern in overtime to claim their second straight DPS City Championship by the score 57-56.

As soon as the game started, it looked as if it would be Southeastern winning their second city title within the last four years, jumping out to a 21-9 after the first quarter, and then eventually 29-19 at the halftime.

“He (Coach Henry) kept telling us that we were alright,” senior point guard Darsean Woodson said the message was at halftime. “we just had to be poise and dial in.”

In the second half, Pershing started to get their offense going.  Buffalo Bulls commit Mory Diane highlighted the comeback scoring 13 of his game high 15 points in the second half, including the game tying floater in the lane for Pershing with 33.2 seconds left that capped off a 15-2 run for the Doughboys to send the game in to overtime.

Pershing never trailed in the overtime, even with seniors Justin Tillman and Diane fouling out within the first two minutes of the period.  Pershing eventually led by one point with 6.2 second left, after two missed free-throws by Kam Barden, Southeastern did not get the ball passed half court, giving Pershing the hardware.

Mory Diane led all scorers with 15 points, Kam Barden chipped in with 13 points, and Darsean Woodson had 10 points for Pershing.  Southeastern was led by Leonard Harper-Baker with 15 points, and D’Cari Charleston scored 12 points for the Jungaleers.

Both teams now move onto the state tournament which begins in about a week.  For Pershing, who always have state titles on their mind, a game like this can serve as a teaching point for how to start a game.

“That gives us a lot of momentum,” Woodson had to say, “knowing that we have to turn it up more & earlier in the game.”


Catching up with Justin Tillman

8 Jul

 Justin, a member of the Reach Legends AAU Team, has seen his basketball recruitment blow up over the last couple of months.  The Pershing forward holds eight division one offers as of now, most of them being mid-major schools.  But Justin has also caught the eye of programs like Michigan State and Iowa State.  Justin will no doubt haul in more offers during the Live Period during the month of July.  In this interview, Justin discusses how the June Team Camps went, skills as a player, and recruiting.

Top Power Forwards in the Area

13 Jun

The 2014 class is loaded with quality talent at the forward position.  The Metro Detroit area contains big men that can shoot, reb0und, defend, and pass.  The majority of these kids all ready have offers, so it is not like they are sneeking up on anybody.

9258651. Jaylen Johnson (Ypsilanti/ Dorians Pride) 6’9″ 210 lbs- Mr. Johnson’s stock has risen to another level this offseason.  Coming into the high school season, only regional schools knew about him.  But after dominating the Spring portion of AAU and the highly prestigious Pangos All-American Camp, Jaylen has hauled in offers from Oregon, North Carolina State, Iowa State, and Maryland, just naming a few.  The smooth moving forward controls the glass with outstanding athleticism, but what makes college coaches drool is his ability to control the paint.  Look for Johnson to gain in more high-major offers as the Summer goes on.

11865862. Justin Tillman (Detroit Pershing/ Reach Legends) 6’8″ 190 lbs – Justin missed more than half of the high school season due to a foot injury.  But looks to be making up for the missing time this past Spring.  Justin is super athletic, finishing above the rim with highlight reel dunks are put back tip ins, and can step out to the perimeter to make a couple of jump shots.  On the defensive end, Justin makes opponents think twice about putting the shot up, and hauls down rebounds in bunches.  Justin so far has received seven mid-major offers, including the likes of Bowling Green, Toledo, Oakland, and Indiana State.

Jamal Poplar3. Jamal Poplar (River Rouge/ Michigan Mustangs) 6’8″- Jamal transferred from Willow Run this past season so he had to sit out the first portion of the season.  But came back strong, which has transitioned nicely into the AAU season.  Poplar has the ability to play all five positions on the court.  Jamal can shoot up to the three point arch, get to the basket off the dribble from the perimeter, handle the ball in the open court, and finish through contact at the rim.  Jamal will be a solid high major prospect by the time high school season get under way.

yante4. Yante Maten (Lahser/ The Family) 6’8″ 210 lbs- Yante has a variety of skills on the basketball court he can use to beat a defender.  Maten can stretch you to the three point line, use his athleticism to go over you, or seal you off creating angles to use with his back to the basket.  Yante so far has offers from Oakland, U of D, Kent State, and Eastern Michigan.

5. Isaac Bowles (Cass Tech/ Judges Court) 6’7″ 215 lbs- Simply put, a rebounding machine. Isaac, before transferring to Cass Tech the second semester from Cezar Chavez Academy, had 38 rebounds in a game, good enough to be put in the state record books.

6. Andre Frederick (Detroit Douglass/ Michigan Hurricanes) 6’7″- What stands out to me about Frederick’s game is that he is a very active defender with quick footwork that is used to block shots.  Even if you are a guard on the perimeter, you better watch out for Frederick.  Andre is very good around the basket finishing with either hand, and uses his big body to carve out space down low.  Andre has a couple MAC offers as of now.

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2012-2013 MHSAA Basketball Season Recap

31 Mar

It is sad to say that the 2012-2013 MHSAA basketball season has come to a close. What seems to be a long four month journey through the winter ended last weekend at the Breslin Center in East Lansing. The finals brought us two back-to-back champions in Flint Beecher and the young and talented Southfield Christian Eagles. A long and deserved title came to head coach Nate Oats of the Romulus Eagles. And finally Kurt Keener and Country Day won another championship what seems to be the longest trophy case in the State of Michigan for high school basketball titles.

Michigan is hands down one of the most talented states in the country when it comes down to basketball talent. All across the great state there are great players. From Detroit, to the Mid-Michigan area to all the away across the state to Grand Rapids, no talent is lost at all. Winning the Mr. Basketball title this year and becoming the first Genesee County player to bring home the award since Kelvin Tolbert of Flint Northwestern won the award in 2001 was Flint Beecher guard Monte Morris. Morris an Iowa State signee, broke the Michigan State Spartan streak of signing the past four Michigan Mr. Basketball winners.

With the departures of talented seniors of Morris to go along with fellow Mr. Basketball candidates, Michigan commit Derrick Walton, Kentucky bound James Young, Oakland bound Kahlil Felder and Northern Illinois recruit Dontel Highsmith, Michigan high school fans have nothing to fear for next year in regards to talented players. The likes of Pershing’s Justin Tillman, Country Day’s Edmond Sumner, De La Salle’s A.J. Turner will continue to improve and get better over their respective AAU seasons and come back next year eager to lead their teams to the Breslin Center.

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Romulus vs. Pershing Round Two

20 Mar

Romulus 93 Pershing 91: The number one and number two teams in the state collided in what could be a game that produces the Class A state champion. The Doughboys beat Romulus the second game of the season 83-76, but this is a different Romulus team from then. It was evident that the game was going to be a track meet with 11 points scored in the first 1:30 of the contest and 44 just in that quarter. The fourth quarter in this game is where the fun was. Leading by eight with 4:10 left in the contest, Romulus thought as if they were going to cruse to the finish line. But this is Pershing we are talking about. Coach Wydell’s boys don’t quit, the Doughboys responded with a 12-5 run of themselves to cut the deficit to one with 2:40 left in the contest. Pershing held a one point lead with 1:10 left to go in the contest after a basketball by Justin Tillman. But the dreams of a state championship took a tremendous hit when senior wing Jalon Plummer hit probably one of the biggest shots of his life on the next trip down for Romulus. That gave Pershing a 90-88 lead forcing a time-out to be called. However, the game was not over. Pershing junior guard Darsean Woodson picked up the ball of a Romulus turnover with seven seconds left and was fouled with a chance to tie the game. Woodson rolled in the first one, but was unable to connect on the second one. Rhode Island commit E.C. Matthews was fouled after the miss and hit one of two free-throws to extend the lead to two. Mr. Basketball candidate Kahlil Felder was unable to get off the game winning three with 2.3 to go in the contest giving Romulus the return trip to the Breslin Center.

E.C. Matthews lead Romulus with 29 points including 11 of them in the first quarter. “I was just feeding in what was giving to me. I was just wanted to be aggressive and just attack and create for others,” said Matthews after his monster game. This is no uncharted territory for the Eagles. Last year, Romulus beat the Doughboys at this very arena only to fall to Rockford in the next game. Coach Oats knew that this was a big one. But it is not one to celebrate for. The real celebration for Romulus will begin if they win they next two games. When asked what the team will do to prepare for a return trip to the Breslin Center, Matthews added “We are seniors now, we have been here before, so we know what it is like we are not going to make the mistakes we did last year.”

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Playoff Preview (part one)

4 Mar

Teams with most to prove

Romulus- The Eagles are full of division one talent.  Which has led them to only one loss this year.  Seniors E.C. Matthews, Leo Edwards, and Wes Clark have all had tremendous seasons.  Now they will have to have  put together a deeps state tournament run if they wish to remembered as the best team out of Romulus.  The Eagles start by hosting their own district, will go to Wyandotte if they make the regionals, and in the quarters, will most likely have to play Pershing, their one loss, for the right to make a return to the Breslin Center.

Pershing- The Doughboys have captured a perfect 20-0 record this season.  And looked even more dominant towards the end of the season once 6’8″ junior forward Justin Tillman returned to the lineup.  The Doughboys will be in the Western District where their most likely be a rematch with Cass Tech in the final.  From that, Pershing will go into the Southfield regional where their biggest competition will be a team they just beat pretty handily, U of D Jesuit.  If all goes to plan, Pershing will get their almost annual playoff rematch with Romulus in quarters at Calihan Hall.

Saginaw- The Trojans came into the year with many expectations coming off a 2011-2012 Class A championship.  But this year and last year are totally different.  Saginaw has talent this year, such as Jerry Smith, Keyon Addison, Julian Henderson, and Al Eichelberger just to name a few.  But the problem for Saginaw is that at times they just don’t play together.  For example, in their 30 point loss to Romulus, they had guys throwing half-court inbounds and trying to play one-on-one.  This will have to be cleaned up if Saginaw wishes just to get out of their district.  Yes I said it!  Saginaw might not get out of their district.  In that district is city cross-town rival Arthur Hill.  A team that they split-the season series with.  It all depends on what Saginaw team shows up.  Because if the team that showed up for the Romulus game come out, a defending state champion will not make it to the regionals.

Coach Wydell Henry of Pershing

18 Feb

Coach Henry in his first year at Pershing has deviated from Pershing’s strong tradition of basketball excellence.  His Doughboys are currently undefeated and sit number one in the State of Michigan.  He talks after his game in the PSL City Championship.

PSL Finals Recap

17 Feb

King 45 vs. Cass Tech 38 (Girls)- The Crusaders of Martin Luther King won their second PSL Girls Basketball Championship out lasting Cass Tech in a tough hard-fought game.  The Technecians came out and surprised the entire city by only allowing King two points in the entire first quarter.  But in the third quarter is where King made their move.  Outscoring Cass 17-9 in the quarter.  In the fourth is where things got interesting.  Cass was able to cut into the lead by as much as six points at 34-28.  But were unable to get any closer.  LaQuita Heart had 16 points for King, and senior Antania Hayes had 11 and 14 rebounds.  Lauren Elliot had nine for Cass.

Pershing 80 vs. Cass Tech 61- Pershing needed to come out and make a statement after last year’s disappointing performance in the PSL Championship.  And they did just that.  Oakland commit Kahlil Felder nailed two-three pointers in the first two minutes of the contest setting the tempo for the rest of the game.  The Doughboys lead 37-26 at half thanks to a Martez Walker three-point shot as time expired to send the teams into over time.  In that second half, Pershing senior Lorenzo Collier  came out and set the tempo early scoring eight of his teams first 13 points in the quarter, a deficit Cass was never able to overcome giving Pershing their 3rd city title in five years.


Game 2: For Pershing, Collier and Justin Tillman finished up with 17 points.  While Martez Walker had 20 for the Doughboys.  This is Pershing’s first city title for coach Wydell Henry, who replaced A.W. Canada at the beginning of the season.  For Cass, it was D’Andre Johnson leading them in scoring with 13 points.  The senior seemed to have no support from his teammates, resulting in him trying to take the game over and pressing a little bit.  Kahlil Felder did not score many points, but you can tell that he is a big time player.  When the pressure is up on Pershing, that is where Felder steps his game up.  This is the one game, I have seen Pershing put together for foursolid quarters,  And not wait until the second half to make their run.

Detroit PSL Semi-Finals Recap

13 Feb

Cass Tech 61 vs. Southeastern 60: There was no better ending to a basketball game than what happened at Cass Tech on Tuesday the 12th of February.  Trailing by double digits with a little over six minutes left in the game, most in the arena were ready to head to the parking lot.  But not SE.  Javon Haines single-handedly brought the Jungaleers back into the game, hitting a huge three at the mid-way point to cut the score to only 57-54.  Now here is how the ending went.  Cass Tech made a huge turnover with 26 seconds left in the game to give Southeastern the ball back.  SE missed the first shot on their possession, but junior Darryl Bigham was their for the put back with under 11 seconds to play.  With no timeouts remaining, Cass senior point guard D’Andre Johnson drove into the paint but was no good.  A following put back attempt by fellow senior Kyle Steward was good however, giving CT the win and sending them to Calihan Hall on Friday night.

Pershing 50 vs. Douglass 40: Similar to the earlier SE Cass game, a team attempted to make a comeback but was not to be.  Both teams struggled throughout the entire game to get into any offensive rhythm.  However, in the fourth is where things changed.  The score was 34-24 Pershing after three, but Douglass was able to make it 42-37 with 1:30 left in the contest.  But Douglass turned the ball over too much in that time span giving Pershing the hard-fought victory.


Game 1: Javon Haines might not be the tallest player on the court, but plays with huge amounts of passion.  The senior guard contributed 24 of his teams 60 points.  That is over a 1/3 of their total points!  He has the skills individually to create offense for himself at any time.  An absolute monster on the floor.  I have seen SE play many times this year, and sometimes he is the only one scoring.  I would say that he is a nice D2 prospect.  Daryl Bigham of the Jugaleers I could tell has made great strides throughout the entire season.  Against Cass he proved that he is a reliable forward who a team can dump the ball to in order to get points.  For Cass, D’Andre Johnson started of slow, but in the end finished with 19 hard earned points.

Game 2: The lone bright spot in this game for Fred D was the defensive performance was of junior Andre Frederick.  At times it looked like Pershing star junior Justin Tillman wanted no part of Andre.  Frederick has quick feet that makes him even a threat on the perimeter to block shots.  Has an improving offensive game, but defense wins championships.

Game of the Week 10/5/12

4 Oct

The game of the week this week has real playoff implications on the City Playoffs. The last ticket will be punched as Denby Tech hosts the Crusaders of Martin Luther King in a week seven showdown. The winner of the game will receive the second seed in the PSL East Division for the playoffs that begin next week. With that being said, I except both teams to come fighting for the final playoff spot. Both squads are coming off of wins in week 6 with King knocking off Douglass 47-0 while the Tars’ bettered Pershing 26-12. King might have the advantage skill wise in the game, but don’t underestimate Denby’s defense, they have only given up 12 points the last two weeks. In the end, I like King in this game. They have more depth, speed, athleticism compared to the Tars. Look for King Quarterback DaVaun Williams to have a big passing day, which will be much needed if the Crusaders look to make any noise in the PSL City Playoffs.

Final Prediction: Denby 7 King: 35

Enjoy the football weekend everybody and don’t forget to check-in next tuesday for my PSL Football Playoff Preview.

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