Tag Archives: PSL

Western Holds On To Defeat Renaissance 65-64 For First PSL Title Since 1922

20 Feb

IMG_0135It happened.  For the first time since the inventions of the television, bubble gum, and microwave, the Detroit Western Cowboys are Detroit Public School League champs.  1922 to be exact.

Western, undefeated and ranked number one in the state, had averaged 67 points in contests prior to facing Detroit Renaissance in the city title game.  Fortunately for Coach McDowell’s Cowboys, the team was able adjust to a different tempo than usual.

“At halftime I told them if we’re going to win it, we’re going to win it with our defense.”

Whether it was exceptional defense or poor offensive performances, both teams struggled to find baskets in the opening half.  Renaissance shot a dismal 8-25 from the field, and Western wasn’t much better at 10-25.

“It’s been like that the last three or four games,” McDowell said after the game.  “We just haven’t shot the ball well.”

Renaissance methodically controlled the game in the first half, limiting turnovers, forcing Western to settle for contested perimeter jump shots, and challenging 6’8″ center Gerald Blackshear at the rim.

The Phoenix led 24-23 at half, despite All-City first team member Justin Turner shooting 1-8 from the floor.  Western decided to rotate through guards Brailen Neely, Kyree Boyton, Josh McFolley, and Kareem Murray to wear down Turner.

Renaissance continued to lead by one entering the fourth.  Western needed a play to shift momentum.  Junior guard Armani Tinsley is as quality a sixth man as there is in the state.  Tinsley scored four straight points in less than a minute to begin the fourth, giving the Cowboys 40-37, a lead the Phoenix would not reclaim the remainder of the fourth.  Tinsley finished with 8 points and five rebounds.

“It’s very deep, our bench is very deep,” said senior point guard Josh McFolley.  “So when one goes down, another comes up, so they come up big.”

Western’s largest lead of the fourth was four points.  The fun didn’t start until 1:17 left on the clock, down three, Justin Turner was called for an offensive foul.  Western started to run down the clock, the Phoenix decided to foul McFolley, not their first choice, with 47 seconds remaining.  McFolley missed, Renaissance quickly out-leted the ball to Turner, he drove and scored, Phoenix down one.  With 18.5 seconds left, junior forward Alaric Jackson stumbled upon a Western blunder, Renaissance ball down one.    Western elected to foul twice, the Cowboys were under the limit with four, just enough.  Not a soul in the gym thought Turner would not get the ball.  Turner did, he missed a contested mid-range jumper, Western ball up one, five seconds left.

“It actually looked good, I was scared, I was nervous,” said Brailen Neely, who finished with a team high 14 points.  “It was in the air, a whole bunch of thoughts went through my mind.”

Gerald Blackshear rebounded it, send him to the line.  Blackshear missed.  Phoenix ball down one 1.8 left.  Freshman Jalen Tobias took the inbound, pivoted, and found senior point guard Daryl Smith.  Smith launched it from 40 feet, the ball struck iron, and fell like a feather to the ground.  Game over.

The Cowboys can take a deep breath, their undefeated record remains intact.

“Of course there’s pressure,” Blackshear referred to following the game surrounding his team.  “Because we’re number one, we lose everybody’s like aww man, but they win it’s like oh my God they won.”

McDowell adds his fourth PSL title to his résumé, his first at Western, the previous three came while the head man for Detroit Redford, now closed.

“It’s an extreme honor to win under McDowell because he expects so much out you,” Neely added.  “When you win you feel you met his expectations.”

The win is special for the aforementioned McFolley and Blackshear.  Both have played together throughout high school, previously at Mt. Clemens, and now Western.  The two are so connected, both decided to commit together and attend U of D Mercy for college.  The same court the championship game was played on.

“We were excited about it,” Gerald said about the opportunity to play on the court where he will continue his career on.  “Ever since we got to the championship, we just kept talking about it.”

McFolley is known for offense, his three point shot is his specialty.  However, he only made one shot the entire night, a three, and two free-throws.  While Gerald is the opposite.  Blackshear contributed seven points, but hauled in 12 rebounds, and deflected two shots.  Just his role on the team.

“Defense wins championship, this a championship, defense won.”

Antania Hayes Interview

18 Feb

DePual commit Antania Hayes talks after her King Crusaders won the second city title in as many years.  Hayes played a marvelous all around game, considering the fact that a few hours before the game, she attended the viewing of her brother who had recently passed away.

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.

Update on D’Andre Johnson of Cass Tech

13 Feb

Interest: Florida Atlantic University.

Visits Upcoming: Florida Atlantic University next weekend.

New Offers: Florida Atlantic offered last week, also Lehigh has offered as well.

Favorites So Far: Florida Atlantic, Lehigh, and St. Bonaventure.

Decision: Right before the state playoffs.  What will go into his decision will not only be basketball, but what the coaching staff has turned players into after their basketball careers are over.

My Notes

D’Andre is a quick point guard who can create offense, period.  Not to many point guards have I seen who have his quick first step.  An absolute beast in transition.  As an up and coming jump shot, but when he is on, he is on.  Also I have to say one of the more toughest point guard defenders in the state.  Willing to take a charge or two.


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.

The 2012 Detroit PSL All City Team

7 Nov

On Monday, November 5, 29 young men from the Detroit Public Schools League were awarded the title “All City.”  Twenty-four seniors, four juniors, and one sophomore from all the DPS schools, were honored by the coaches in the league for an excellent season.  Only two athletes were from the previous years all city roster, showing the upcoming talent within the PSL.  A good majority of these student-athletes will move on the play college football.  But for others that will be a harder goal to obtain.  The life lessons taught in the game of football stay with student-athletes much longer than a score of championship game.  I have talked to parents who say that they want their children to play football just to learn simple tasks they will have to use if they are to be succesful in everyday life, such as working with others to achieve a common goal.  The 29 athletes have truly shown to motto of the PSL.  Proud Strong Learners.


This Weekends Games

31 Oct

After the first round of the MHSAA State Playoffs, only two teams remain from the PSL. Those teams are East English Village and Cass Tech. Last week,The Village beat Marysville, while the Technecians took out Grosse Pointe South. This week we move onto the District Championship. The Bulldogs will travel to St. Clair to play on Saturday at 7:00 PM, while Cass Tech will return for a home game to battle the Pioneers of Dearborn High on Saturday as well with a 1:00 PM kickoff. These two teams could very well end up at Ford Field playing for MHSAA State Championships. Please show your support for these two teams in their journey for greatness.

Game of the Week 10/26/12

26 Oct

My game of the week selection usually takes place on Thursday, but for this week it will happen on a Friday.  The game of the week for the first round of the MHSAA State Playoffs will feature a rematch of the Prep Kickoff Classic, with Martin Luther King leaving the City of Detroit to battle the Blue Jays of Southfield High School.  If you remember the game back in August, the Crusaders had control for most of the game, but stalled in the fourth quarter due to their seven turnovers.  The defense looked very good for MLK, only allowing a total of 21 points to a team that ended up beating perennial power Farmington Hill Harrison.  Southfield’s offense is quite interesting from what we have seen from them in the years past.  Their quarterback Tre Walton, a converted wide-receiver, lines up in the pistol with a running back in a three-point stance directly behind him.  They will send a receiver in motion trying to create a triple option and try to take advantage of Walton’s running ability.  If the Crusaders find a way to figure the offense out, they will most likely have no problems winning the game.  But I am not convinced that after last weeks city championship performance, where they gave up 48 points to East English, they will be able to contain this potent Blue Jays Offense.  Who needs to stop the ball when you score 51 points?  That is what the Crusaders did last week.  Devaun Williams was flawless connecting with Mycial Allen for two touchdowns.  King also got production on special teams with Avonte returning a kickoff for 81 yards.  This game will be a shootout.  The Blue Jays will give the Crusaders a battle, but King will march on to the district final.

Southfield: 35 King: 42

Enjoy the first round everyone!

2012 MHSAA Playoff Teams from the PSL

23 Oct

Congratulations to all of the 2012 MHSAA State Playoff participants from the PSL.  A good majority of the teams selected from the DPS could very well end up playing at Ford Field for the State Championships.  Here are the six teams that qualified, their first round opponents and the start time for each game.

Cass Tech @ Grosse Pointe South (Friday 7:00 p.m.)

Cody @ Oak Park (Friday 6:00 p.m.)

King @ Southfield (Friday 4:30  p.m.)

Marysville @ East English Village (Friday 7:00 p.m.)

Central @ St. Clair (Saturday 7:00 p.m.)

Douglass @ Grosse Pointe University Ligget (Saturday 3:00 p.m.)

The 2012 PSL City Championship Game

21 Oct

The 2012 Detroit Public School League City Championship lived up to all the hype it had it received, for the offenses that is.  Both teams put on offensive clinics with King scoring 51 and the Bulldogs putting up 48.  Defenses were in short supply as both teams seemed to move the ball at will against their opponents.  The Village got off to a quick 20-0 start with touchdowns coming from Desmond King, Khalid Hill, and defensive-lineman Antoine Benford on a fumble recovery.  But that would be the largest lead the Bulldogs would have as the Crusaders put up 32 points unanswered between the 2nd and 3rd quarters.  At one point in the 3rd quarter, King had built a 39-20 lead.  The Bulldogs cut into the deficit early in the 2nd half with Nathaniel Bowlware scampering up the middle for a td to put East English only down 11.  But on the very next kickoff, King speedster Avonte Maddox returned the kickoff for a 81 yard electrifying td return.  Senior Desmond King would not have his final regular season game in the PSL become a blowout as he scored the next two touchdowns for the Bulldogs to put them down only five points with less than three minutes remaining.  The Bulldogs were able to get the ball back with under a minute remaining trailing by 5 and needing a touchdown for the win.  But a Anton Curtis’ pass was intercepted by King Senior Sa’von Thomas to put the game on ice for the Crusaders.  It has been a truly remarkable run for the Crusaders, who started the season 0-3 and won their next six games, including a 44-13 blowout of top-ranked Cass Tech.  It was a victory well-deserved for King who had faced adversity all season, and have responded with great character and perseverance.

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