Birmingham — As far as Orchard Lake St. Mary’s senior guard Jalen Watts-Jackson was concerned, enough was enough.
St. Mary’s had lost 14 consecutive games to Warren DeLaSalle, a streak that dated back to 2008, but that ended Wednesday as St. Mary’s defeated DeLaSalle 66-51 in a Catholic League A-B Division semifinal at Birmingham Marian.
Both teams started slowly before St. Mary’s to the game to DeLaSalle on the defensive end. St. Mary’s held a 37-24 edge in rebounds, 22-7 in the second half, and seemingly got to every loose ball.
St. Mary’s played like a desperate team determined not to let the past come back to haunt them.
“We didn’t want to keep losing to them,” Watts-Jackson said. “Fourteen in row will get to you.”
“We always knew what they wanted to do. We had to execute our defense. We had to execute our offense. They were trying to get the ball to their shooters early on and we checked all of those guys shots. Our coaches did a great job of getting us to the spots before they got there.”
St. Mary’s (10-8) will play defending champion U-D Jesuit (15-2) for the title at 3 p.m. Sunday at Calihan Hall.
“It’s a good win for us,” St. Mary’s coach George Porritt said. “It’s been so long since we’ve beaten them. We look forward to playing U-D.”
U-D defeated St. Mary’s twice during the season, just like DeLaSalle had.
St. Mary’s led 8-7 at the end of the first quarter but soon after the game changed dramatically.
After Alex Capoccia’s two free throws gave DeLaSalle a 14-11 lead with 3:26 left in the second quarter, St. Mary’s held DeLaSalle scoreless for more than eight minutes. Nathan Conrad’s basket with 3:11 left in the third completed a 20-0 St. Mary’s run.
Kevin McKay’s basket brought DeLaSalle within 31-16 but St. Mary’s was able to maintain a 15- to 21-point lead until Chris Cox’s 3-pointer cut St. Mary’s’ lead to 50-36 with 3:48 remaining.
Now the desperate team DeLaSalle went almost exclusively to its perimeter game to get back in it. McKay’s 3-point play got DeLaSalle to within 58-47 and Chris Rollins’ 3-pointer cut St. Mary’s’ lead to 59-50 with 1:24 left.
But that was it for DeLaSalle. St. Mary’s made 7-of-8 from the free throw line in the final 1:16 to put the game away.
“We weren’t ready to play,” DeLaSalle coach Greg Esler said. “We missed layups. We played like we practiced. We beat them twice and had done a good job on (Ted) McCree. He got a couple of baskets early and that got him going.”
Ted McCree had 22 points and seven rebounds, and Watts-Jackson had 10 points, five rebounds and three blocks.
Kevin McKay scored 19 and Rollins 13 for DeLaSalle (14-4).
Allen Park Cabrini 45, Riverview Gabriel Richard 42: Dave Szczesny (10 points) made a free throw with 6.2 seconds left to give Cabrini a 45-42 lead and Richard’s desperation 3-pointer missed as time expired in a C-D semifinal.
Cabrini (8-10) will play Waterford Lakes (13-5) for the title at 1 p.m. Sunday at Calihan Hall.
Scott Smith scored 11 and Jared Hicks 10 for Cabrini.
John Lemieux scored 15 and Tyler Blaszczak 11 for Richard (11-5).
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Bloomfield 92, Southfield 61: Khalil Gracy scored 24 for Bloomfield. Isiah Green had 18 for Southfield.
Clarkston 46, North Farmington 39 (OT): Nick Owens had 12 and Drew Myers 11 for Clarkston (14-3). Jeron Rogers had 23 for North Farmington (12-4).
Detroit Community 73, Highland Park 53: Jerris Cargile had 16 and Jason Buyck 15 points and 12 rebounds for Community (12-6).
Harper Woods Chandler Park 51, Detroit Old Redford 48: Jalen Martin had 22 points and 12 rebounds and Joe Thomas scored 16 for Chandler Park (15-3, 10-0 Charter League). Tim Hugely scored 15 for Old Redford.
Madison Heights Bishop Foley 62, Warren Michigan Collegiate 59: Nick Pepin scored 22 and Gary Perry had 10 points and 13 rebounds for Bishop Foley (6-11). Justin Parker scored 14 for Michigan Collegiate.
River Rouge 65, Detroit Cody 55: Terrell Crawford Scored 31 and Jalen Gibson had 12 points and 20 rebounds for River Rouge (9-6). Eric Hayes scored 18 for Cody.
Romulus 86, Detroit Douglass 68: Kris Clyburn had 27, Jaylin Walker 20 and Reo Washington 10 for Romulus (14-2). Terrell Hales had 25 and Darrell Davis 21 for Douglass (10-9).
Southfield Bradford Academy 79, Detroit University Prep 51: Juwan Hampton had 31 points and 10 assists, Jalen McFadden 21 points and 11 rebounds and Dilion McDaniel 10 points and 10 rebounds for Southfield Bradford (17-1). Javon Henderson scored 17 for University Prep.
Troy 59, Troy Athens 44: Chris Dorsey had 20 and Bemonta Hood had 13 for Troy (13-4, 9-2 OAA White). Tim Shayoka had 15 for Athens (11-5, 8-3).
Utica Ford 56, Roseville 42: Ja’Won Vaughn and Ryan Ausbrooks each scored 16 and Bogart Lipe had 10 for Ford (11-6, 9-2 MAC White). Elijah Collier had 13 and Brandon Hrelja 11 for Roseville (9-7, 4-5).
Warren Mott 85, Utica 58: Kenny Goins had 30 points and 16 rebounds, Derek Murphy scored 21 points and Stef Johnson 12 for Mott (13-4, 10-1 MAC White). Blake Valle had 16 for Utica (3-15).
West Bloomfield 62, Birmingham Seaholm 61: Prishon Jackson had 20 and Zack Allead 16 for West Bloomfield (9-7, 3-7 OAA White). Jonah Kest had 17 for Seaholm (8-9, 5-6).
Canton 30, Novi 20: Taylor Hunley had 11 for Canton (16-3). Kerri McMahan had 11 for Novi (15-4).
Grosse Pointe South 57, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley 18: Cierra Rice had 17 and Bre Andrews had 10 points, 10 rebounds, and six steals for South (19-1). Chippewa Valley is 0-20.
Madison Heights Madison 38, New Haven 36: Zaria Carruthers had 14 and Parys Fuller 10 for Madison (16-3, 13-1 MAC Silver). Micaeh McGlaun had 13 for New Haven.
River Rouge 36, Detroit Cody 22: Star Harris had 16 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 steals for River Rouge (14-3). Tamia Crawford had 15 points and 14 rebounds. Cody is 7-9.
Romulus 73, Harper Woods 54: Jayla Nichols had 24 points and 11 rebounds, Jelani Shinn scored 13 and Cierra Bond had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Romulus (15-4). Tierra Adams scored 17 for Harper Woods.
St. Clair Shores South Lake 67, East Detroit 52: NaKyra Jordan had 25, Moet Dickinson 12 and A’Shionna Herndon 10 for South Lake (12-6, 11-4 MAC Silver). Kadrea Jones had 14, and Lakeyia Terry and Daniella Marsee 10 apiece for East Detroit.
Ypsilanti Arbor Prep 65, Taylor Kennedy 24: Katlyn Brownlee and Nastassja Chambers each had 12 for Arbor Prep (16-3). Kennedy is 6-13.
Rochester Stoney Creek 2, Farmington 1: Josh Niederhauser and Finley O’Shea each scored for Stoney Creek (16-6-1). Drake Cole scored for Farmington (14-10).
Detroit News staff contributed.