East Lansing — Bakari Evelyn scored seven of his 22 points in the final 1:47 and Southfield Christian survived a foul-fest as it defeated Lansing Christian, 75-68, in a Class D semifinal on Thursday at the Breslin Center.
Southfield Christian's victory sets up a matchup between the last two state champions on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Wyoming Tri-unity Christian held Powers North Central to 16 points in the second half and defeated the representative from the Upper Peninsula 51-36 in the other semifinal on Thursday
Tri-unity (25-2), ranked No. 1 and the 2011 state champion, was led by Daniel Cole's 18 points.
Southfield Christian (22-4), which won its first state title last season, was led by Evelyn's 22 points and seven rebounds.
Forty-eight fouls were called, 28 against Lansing Christian, and Southfield Christian made the best of its opportunity at the free throw line making 35 of 44 (79.5 percent).
"We came in having made 23 in a row," Southfield Christian coach Josh Baker said. "We outlasted them. That's what these guys have done all year. Our guys stepped up the intensity late. They got into foul trouble and that hurt them. It wore them down."
Three Lansing Christian players fouled out. Parker Allen was the first. He got his fifth foul 14 seconds into the fourth.
His teammates held strong for most of the quarter and they took a 57-53 lead on Jordan Terry's 3-point play with 6:39 left.
Lindsey Hunter IV (21 points) made two free throws to tie the game at 57-57, but it wasn't until his two free throws with 1:58 gave his team the lead for good at 68-66. Evelyn's 3-point play with 1:47 left pushed to lead to 71-66 and Lansing Christian had little left.
"It was a physical game," Evelyn said. "We just came together as a team down the stretch."
Damarco White played his best game of his career for Southfield Christian as he had 19 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks.
"I got really long arms," he said. "I just do my best to swat the ball."
Skylar Ross had 23 points for Lansing Christian (22-4) ands Josh Whitney added 16.
Joey Blauwkamp's basket with a second left gave Tri-unity a 29-27 lead. Tri-unity continued to build upon the lead as Evan Przybysz opened the fourth with a 3-pointer.
"I've got to give credit to the schedule we played," Tri-unity coach Mark Keeler said. "We played Wyoming Godwin Heights, which is in the Class B semifinals. We beat Zeeland East, A Class A school. North Central will be a better team next year having played in this game."
Blauwkamp had 10 points for Tri-unity and Rob Granquist led North Central (23-4) with 13 points.
North Central shot just 29.4 percent (10-34) from the field and Tri-unity wasn't much better at 33.3 (16-48).