Wednesday’s preps: Dandy third quarter carries U-D Jesuit to district win
Detroit — Elijah Collins helped U-D Jesuit play one of its best quarters of the season Wednesday night, sparking the school to a 57-48 Class A district semifinal win over Hazel Park at Renaissance High School.
U-D Jesuit (19-3), which will play Renaissance in the title game Friday at 6, needed it too.
After trailing 22-20 at halftime when it made just 6-of-21 shots from the field and committed a dozen turnovers, U-D Jesuit played outstanding defense, made 9-of-11 shots and outscored Hazel Park (18-3) by a 20-13 margin in the pivotal third quarter to open up a 40-35 lead.
Collins was the catalyst, constantly attacking the basket, either scoring on transition baskets off of turnovers or on drives in the halfcourt set to score 10 of his 16 points.
“At the start of the third quarter, we knew we had to get in the paint and had to draw more fouls because when it comes down to it they have nine players and they were in foul trouble,” said Collins, who will play football next fall at Michigan State. “Our coaches told us to get in the paint and make them jump because they like to block a lot of shots because of their athleticism.
“We played great one-on-one basketball defensively and got a hand up on them. Jalen (Thomas) was great. That’s what you want in a big man, block shots and rebounds. He altered shots, made shots almost impossible when he didn’t block them.”
U-D Jesuit led the entire fourth quarter, but survived a scare when Hazel Park cut the deficit to 40-39 following David Hearns’ two free throws with 4:56 left.
U-D Jesuit answered with a pair of free throws by both Jalen Thomas and Zachary Winston (44-39).
It was Thomas, a 6-foot-10 junior, who was a major factor for U-D Jesuit. He missed the initial meeting between the teams on Dec. 15 — a 74-63 Hazel Park win — because he was attending school in Las Vegas.
Thomas kept U-D Jesuit close in the first half, contributing 10 points and six rebounds. He finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocks, rejecting three shots during the final three minutes.
Collins and Zachary Winston each had 14 points and Daniel Friday, 10 points and 12 rebounds for U-D Jesuit.
Carl Bow scored 16 for Hazel Park, which connected on only 4-of-22 3-pointers. Hearns scored 10 and Devin Pettus, nine.
“We knew they could shoot the ball with their guards, and they were trying to set screens and we just got good switches out there and they weren’t able to knock down shots because we got a hand up,” said Thomas, who has an offer from national power Xavier.
While Hazel Park had trouble finishing at the basket in the first half, U-D Jesuit had trouble with Hazel Park’s quickness, turning the ball over six times in the opening quarter and six more in the second.
U-D Jesuit had as many turnovers as points (10) with five minutes left in the first half, just prior to Bow’s 3-pointer to give Hazel Park its biggest lead of the half at 15-10.
Hazel Park was 8-of-30 from the field in the first half and finished 16-of-54.
More district games
Detroit Renaissance 58, Oak Park 55, OT: Carrington McCaskill came up with two big shots during the final minutes of overtime to lift Renaissance (15-6).
McCaskill, a 6-7 junior, finished with 15 points. He made a 15-footer to give Renaissance a 54-50 lead with 1:45 left and then dunked off an alley-oop pass for a 58-55 cushion with 36.1 seconds left.
Despite missing five of six free throws and turning the ball over three times in the extra session, Oak Park (18-3) still had a chance to force a second overtime, but missed a pair of 3-pointers in the final seconds, including one by 6-6 sophomore Maliq Carr, who scored 17 and was instrumental in the comeback.
Oak Park scored the game’s first four points before Renaissance went on a 15-0 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Kris Garrett as time expired in the first quarter.
Renaissance built the lead to 24-8 on a 3-pointer by Keyon Henderson with two minutes left in the half.
Renaissance continued to hold a 10-point lead (47-37) with four minutes left before Jeremiah Pettway rallied Oak Park back, getting transition baskets out of its fullcourt pressure.
Oak Park had the ball in the final seconds of regulation, but missed two shots, resulting in overtime.
Junior Chandler Turner scored 14 for Renaissance; Garrett, 11 points and Cortez Garland, 10.
Detroit King 58, Detroit Cass Tech 56, OT: Rashawn Cowan scored off a putback with less than a second remaining in overtime to lift King to a win over Cass Tech (16-5).
Senior guard Marcus Gibbs, who helped Cass Tech win the PSL title last year, scored a team-high 19 for King (13-6) while junior point guard Jordan Whitford had 18 points and Antonio Marshall, nine points.
“Marcus Gibbs was known for his 3-point shooting at Cass, but he made runners, got to the basket, got to the line, played defense and got deflections to show he is a true all-around player and I’m proud of him,” King coach George Ward said.
“Jordan Whitford played the entire game and controlled the tempo, especially in the second half. He was lights out in the fourth quarter, hit some big-time jumpers. He had a great defensive game and was the floor leader that we expected him to be.”
King, which lost to Cass Tech in last year’s district final, will play Detroit Western in a 5 p.m. championship game Friday at Western.