Detroit — Tiaira Earnest sparked a run at the end of the first half, then made another big play down the stretch to make sure Detroit Mumford would repeat as PSL champion with a 59-49 win over No. 13 Detroit King Friday evening at Cass Tech.
Earnest, a 5-foot-5 senior guard, scored 10 of her game-high 17 points during the second quarter, including four during a 12-0 run to end the first half to open a 32-18 halftime lead.
Mumford (15-3) forced 25 turnovers, including eight during the fourth quarter, the majority coming after King took a 44-43 lead with 6:39 left on Charelle Mathis’ jumper.
King standout senior point guard Del’Janae Williams went down with a leg injury seconds after Mathis’ basket and Mumford took advantage, forcing a handful of turnovers to take a 54-46 lead.
Mumford junior forward Ajanee Horton made consecutive driving layups while also getting a rebound to break a 46 tie to open up a 50-46 cushion with four minutes left.
“My Coach (Kareem Hogan) told me it was time to go so I had to do what I had to do,” Horton said. “I was mad in the first half because I had a bad half, down on myself because I couldn’t score and letting people score on me. I knew I had to come back and do what I did to bring my team back.”
Mumford’s defense continued to impress with Sequoia Jackson taking a charge and then Coreeahn Yharbrough getting a steal off an inbounds pass and turning it into a transition layup for a 52-46 lead, followed by a transition basket by Earnest for an eight-point cushion with two minutes left.
“I wasn’t making the shots early on and I had to get it out of my system and go with it and had that big run,” Earnest said of her big second quarter. “We knew that King only had one ballhandler (Williams) so we felt if we took her away from the game we knew we had the game so we just had to apply as much pressure as we could.”
Williams, who did return with three minutes left, finished with 15 points and Danielle Camp scored 10 for King (14-2) which made 12-of-26 free throws and shot 34 percent from the field.
Senior guard Adoreya Williams scored 16 for Mumford, which made 20-of-35 free throws, shot 32 percent from the field and committed 25 turnovers, nine coming in the opening quarter.
And, it was Williams who made a 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter for a 12-6 lead after Yharbrough scored off a putback to end Mumford’s 0-for-12 shooting drought to open the game.