East Lansing — If first-year Detroit Community coach Vernias Jordan Jr. was looking for some respect for his unranked team, he got that and more Friday.
Making its first trip to the semifinals, Community played like a team that had been there many times before as it ousted No. 4-ranked Wyoming Godwin Heights, 58-37, in a Class B semifinal at Breslin Center.
The task becomes even now as Community (18-9) will face top-ranked Detroit Country Day (24-3) in the final at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
"With nine losses, we can't sleep past anybody," Jordan said. "Some say we were inconsistent but we didn't lose to any slouches. We were up on Detroit Southeastern (lost 56-54) and didn't close them out. We had the lead on Detroit Pershing (lost 57-55) and didn't get it done. We weren't able to close teams out. Now we are. Having been there so many times helps.
"Playing Country Day? I have no problem with that. Country Day can turn a 2-point lead into an 18-point lead in a minute and half."
Byron Zeigler led Community with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Demetrius Rose and Jerrell Martin each added nine points.
Markese Mayfield topped Godwin Heights (23-3) with 13 points.
Community held a 46-37 edge in rebounds, forced 19 turnovers and held Godwin Heights to 28.1 percent (16 of 57) shooting from the field.
"It's one of our lowest outputs of the season," Godwin Heights coach Chad Conklin said. "We were two for 18 from the 3-point ranger and we're normally a good 3-point shooting team."
Zeigler said this group, with five seniors in the starting lineup, has been waiting for chance like this.
"Community has never scratched the surface before," he said. "Us seniors want to go out playing the kind of basketball we know we can. We've played more disciplined teams in the tournament before. (Godwin Heights) likes to dribble drive and get up and down. It's nothing we haven't seen before."