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Staying focused with a big lead in the division isn’t easy, but Detroit East English girls basketball took care of business yet again with a 62-36 home victory over Detroit Pershing on Thursday night.

Having a trio of senior leaders helps when it comes to maintaining that focus. East English (9-1, 7-0 Detroit PSL East-Town) is led by Jayla Smith, Alexis Thompson and Kendal Taylor, to whom head coach Sam Hines gives all the credit for keeping his team levelheaded.

East English has a two-game lead in the division, but his veteran trio has been outstanding.

“Having seniors like Jayla Smith, Alexis Thompson and Kendal Taylor — they’re the glue to this program,” Hines said.

Smith led all scorers with 26 points and added 11 assists and seven rebounds. Thompson had 15 points and 14 rebounds and Te’a Leonard added 12 points and 10 steals.

Admitting that his girls are sometimes “legends in their own mind,” Hines said building a solid lead in the East-Town division has paid major dividends for his team both on and off the court.

“The fun part about watching our run in the division is watching the girls grow,” Hines said. “This run has taught them how to start playing team basketball.”

Lazae Mosley led Pershing (3-4, 3-4) with 23 points.

Hines was especially beaming when talking about Smith, who has been getting looks from college programs after a solid prep career. But it’s not all about basketball for her.

“College coaches are starting to recognize her overall game,” Hines said. “But she’s an even better person than she is player.”

East English will bring that veteran team into battle against Detroit Osborn next Wednesday with the regular season winding down.

More girls basketball

Detroit Cass Tech 86, Detroit Western 17: Ariah Powell had a triple-double with 30 points, 10 assists and 10 steals for Cass Tech (9-2). Precious Fields added 13 points and Keyonna Johnson 10 for Cass. Egypt Fuller led Western with seven points.

Detroit Cody 61, Detroit CMA 24: Kaira McGowan scored 27 with eight assists and Brianna Brice scored 12 for Cody.

Detroit Denby 81, Detroit Davis Aerospace 7: Eshawnda Smith scored 41 and Iyana Love had 12 points and four steals for Denby (6-3, 4-2 PSL East-Town).

Detroit King 78, Detroit West Side Academy 6: Deljanae Williams scored 22 and Charrell Mathis 16 for King (10-0, 6-0 PSL Midtown).

Detroit Renaissance 76, Detroit Henry Ford 17: Kailee Davis paced four Renaissance players in double figures with 17 points. Nika Dorsey added 14 for Renaissance (8-3, 6-1 PSL West-Town), followed by Shannon Wheeler with 13 and Taylor Anderson with 12. Henry Ford is 4-6 overall.

Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 36, Grosse Ile 27: Samantha Michael and Juliana Taoletti each scored 11 for Catholic Central (8-1, 5-0 Huron). Helena Formentin led Grosse Ile (3-6, 1-4) with nine points.

St. Clair Shores Lakeview 49, Warren Fitzgerald 18: Kayla Austin had 13 points, six assists and five steals and Tricia Sankiewicz and Joslyn Brennan each scored 12 for Lakeview (8-2, 5-0 MAC Blue). Fitzgerald is 3-7, 0-5.

Boys basketball

Macomb Dakota 75, Macomb L’Anse Creuse North 59: Mark Tocco had 27 points and eight rebounds and Joshua Hines scored 21 for Dakota (9-2, 6-1 MAC Red). Brian Bendo scored 24 for North.

New Haven 76, Grosse Pointe South 47: Romeo Weems became the school’s all-time scoring leader with 30 points to go along with 10 rebounds, six assists, six blocks and four steals for New Haven (11-1, 6-0 MAC White). Ronald Jeffery III added 22 points, nine rebounds, five assists, four steals and four blocks, Tyree France had six points, three assists and three steals and Eddie Dandridge III had six points, five rebounds and two steals for New Haven.

Southfield A&T 85, Troy Athens 48: Cameron McEvans scored 38 and Andre Floyd 13 to lead A&T (6-4, 4-2 OAA White). Davis DiGiovanni scored 14 and Josh Seifert 13 for Athens (3-9, 1-6).

St. Clair Shores Lake Shore 79, New Baltimore Anchor Bay 43: Caleb Bates had 19 points and 19 rebounds, Malik Hill had 12 points and five assists and Ja’sean Green scored 10 for Lake Shore (10-2). Riley Bernanoer scored 14 for Anchor Bay (7-7).

Troy 54, Bloomfield Hills 43: Clay Sebastian scored 18, Matt Johansson 13 and Brody Parker 12 for Troy (7-5, 1-4 OAA Red). Mason Canfield scored 12 and Collin Hecker 11 for Bloomfield Hills (5-7, 2-3).

Utica 78, Warren Cousino 55: Trey Koletes scored 22, Joan Binishi 17, Andrea Pjetri had 14 points and six assists and Nik Gjonaj 10 points and eight rebounds for Utica (4-7, 4-3 MAC Blue). Tyler Mack scored 23 to lead Cousino (6-6, 4-3).

Warren Mott 68, Romeo 64 (OT): DeJzon Aljahim had 15 points, including the tying 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game to overtime, and 11 rebounds, James Chaney scored 14 and Darius Willis 12 for Mott (10-2, 6-1 MAC White). Greg Tarr led Romeo (3-9, 2-5) with 15 points.

Connor Muldowney is a freelance writer. Detroit News staff contributed.

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