Romulus — Cassius Winston put on a show on Martin Luther King Day to help U-D Jesuit defeat defending Class B champion Milan, 69-56, at Romulus High.
Winston, a 6-foot-1 junior guard, set the tempo by being aggressive at the offensive end, making a 3-pointer, setting up teammates in transition and scoring off penetration moves to give U-D a 21-6 lead after the opening quarter.
U-D (7-1) led 39-26 at halftime and 54-43 after three quarters. Then, Winston finished the game the same way he started it, by being in attack mode to end all hopes of a Milan comeback, scoring 12 of his game-high 30 points.
"I take it upon myself now to set the tempo early and get some scoring on the board, just to get into the flow, get the game moving," said Winston, who is being recruited by Michigan State as one of the top juniors in the nation. "Coming into the game we knew they were trying to beat us inside and slow the pace so we tried to play our game and push it, keep the game up-tempo and play a lot of defense."
Not that Winston needed any extra motivation, but he had some while playing against his AAU Family teammate, Milan guard Latin Davis, who will be playing next year at Youngstown State.
"He played with the Family so he's like my brother, so it's a friendly competition and tonight we got the best of him," said Winston of Davis, who got to the basket but had trouble finishing, scoring 13 on 3-of-17 shooting for Milan (7-2). It got no closer than eight (46-38) during the second half.
"It was important to contain him, put a lot of pressure on him. Those big dudes down there (6-9 sophomores Ike Eke and Greg Eboigbodin) hurt him and make it very difficult to score down low."
Eboigbodin had eight points and 10 rebounds and Eke made his presence known by scoring in transition in the opening quarter to open up a 9-2 lead, then blocking Davis' shot at one end and dunking it at the other to open up a 15-point (25-10) cushion early in the second.
U-D coach Pat Donnelly was concerned about Nick Perkins (Buffalo), Milan's physical, 6-8, 240-pound center, so he double-teamed him. Still, Perkins finished with 19 points, making four 3-pointers.
"He's such a good player," Donnelly said. "I commented to our guys earlier in the week that I thought he was one of the best big men that we're going to see all year. We doubled him hard in the low post, which I thought forced him to kick the ball back out.
"I thought we did a good job defending him for the most part, but he still scored 19. I've never seen a big kid shoot the ball like that from three. I'd be hard-pressed to find another big guy in the state that can shoot the ball like that."
U-D, which made a Class A state semifinal appearance last year, has a Catholic League Central Division showdown at home with Birmingham Brother Rice (7-1) on Friday.
More boys basketball
Dexter 45, Saline 42: Adam Sikorski scored 11 for Dexter (9-1, 4-1 SEC). Matt Rosati scored 15 for Saline.
Harper Woods Chandler Park 67, Warren Mott 65: Jalen Martin hit the winner with two seconds remaining and finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds, while Calvin Siebert scored 19 for Chandler Park (6-4). Derek Murphy had 22 points for Mott (3-4).
Peck 45, Deckerville 30: Kyle Abrego had 14 points for Peck (7-2). Teagan Bowerman scored 10 for Deckerville (3-5).
Romulus 76, Saginaw 55: Jaylin Walker had 23 points, Reo Washington had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and D'Angelo Hansdro scored 13 for Romulus (8-3). RonQuavius Southward had 18 for Saginaw (7-3).
Grosse Pointe North 35, Romeo 32: Katie Snow had 13 points and Erin Armbruster 11 for North (4-4, 1-2 MAC Red). Kylie Resner and Bree Sorenson had nine apiece for Romeo (5-4, 0-3).
Royal Oak 46, Hazel Park 19: Bailey Haran had 12 points and Allison Karpinski had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Royal Oak (5-4). Emme Redmond scored 14 for Hazel Park (2-8).
Detroit News staff contributed.