Detroit — Detroit Western hadn't won a Public School League championship since 1922. That changed Friday night as Western held on in dramatic fashion to beat Detroit Renaissance, 46-45, at Calihan Hall.
With 9.9 seconds remaining, Renaissance was trailing by a point when it took the ball out of bounds. Justin Turner faked out the defender, broke toward the basket and took the inbounds pass from Darryl Smith. Turner pulled up from just outside the free throw line. The ball bounced off the rim and into the hands of Gerald Blackshear with just under six seconds to play.
After Blackshear missed the first of a one-and-one, Western used its last foul to give with 1.8 seconds left. Needing to go full court in that time, Smith took the inbounds pass and got off a shot from just inside half court that hit the backboard, bounced off the rim and to the ground.
With the win, Western capped off an amazing turnaround and improved to 17-0 (13-0 PSL) on the season.
"There's no doubt about it," Western coach Derrick McDowell said. "I told them when they got to Western that they could make history, and they did."
In a game that was begging for more offense to begin with, the fourth quarter was a knock-down, drag-out affair.
Renaissance led 37-36 heading into the final quarter, but Armanti Tinsley was able to grab two offensive rebounds and put them back for buckets in the first minute to give Western its first lead since the first quarter.
Smith answered with a 3-pointer to bring Renaissance back within one and both teams continued to use pressure defense to force the other into bad shots.
"We didn't make enough free throws and open shots," Renaissance coach Venias Jordan said.
"It's funny that we won with our defense," McDowell said. "This is more of an offensive team.
"But I told them at halftime that we were going to win it with our defense."
Brailen Neely finished with 14 points to lead Western, but it was Blackshear's presence down low that might have ultimately swung the game in Western's favor. The senior forward finished with nine points, 11 rebounds and four blocks.
Turner and Smith both finished with 12 points to pace Renaissance (12-7, 8-5).
More boys basketball
Allen Park Inter-City Baptist 71, Novi Franklin Road Christian 36: Garrett Kraatz had 22 for Intercity Baptist (15-3, 11-2 MIAC Blue), Josh Estell 13 and Uke Barber 10. Austin Hearns scored 19 for Franklin Road Christian (6-12, 4-9).
Dexter 56, Adrian 44: Justin Eckhoff had 12 , Ben Kill 11 and Noah Mellifont had 10 and 10 rebounds for Dexter (13-4, 6-2 SEC White). Connor Dempsey scored 19 for Adrian (5-12, 1-7).
Farmington Hills Harrison 66, Hazel Park 56: Justin White scored 16 and John Rexroth 15 for Harrison (3-13, 2-4 OAA Gold). Carl Bow scored 16 to lead Hazel Park (5-11, 4-3). David Hearns had 11, and Eddie White and Julius Giles 10 each for Hazel Park.
Livonia Churchill 74, Novi 49: Joan Andoni had 27 and Jon Hovermale 18 for Churchill (12-5). Cam Hankerson scored 14 for Novi (11-6).
Livonia Stevenson 76, Canton 67: Noah Campbell had 26 and Ian Knoph 21 for Stevenson (8-9). Greg Williams scored 37 for Canton (13-4).
Macomb Dakota 69, Romeo 45: Jermaine Jackson Jr. had 14 and John Hall 13 for Dakota (15-2, 10-0 MAC Red). Charles Penn added a double-double with 10 and 10 rebounds. Bradley Sorenson scored 17 to lead Romeo (5-12, 4-7).
Milford 60, Livonia Franklin 48: Kyle Valden had 20 for Milford (6-10). Mark Mettie and Joe Chinavare each scored 11 for Franklin (0-17).
Peck 73, Mayville 50: Cody Abrago had 19 and Kyle Abrado 18 for Peck (14-3, 10-1 North Central Thumb). Adam Morrison scored 19 for Mayville (5-11, 3-8).
Plymouth 78, Salem 75 (OT): Randall Aikins had 21, Brent Davis 18 and Deji Adebiyi 17 for Plymouth (12-5). Kenny Topolovec scored 22 for Salem (13-4).
Royal Oak 57, Farmington 52: Gavin Boswell had 23 and Cordell Dupree 18 for Royal Oak (7-9, 2-4 OAA Gold). Austin Thompson scored 14 for Farmington (8-9, 4-3).
Southfield 59, Bloomfield Hills 49: Michael Flowers had 17 and Isaiah Green 14 for Southfield (9-7, 3-4 OAA Red). Cameron Dalton scored 21 for Bloomfield Hills (6-9, 0-6).
Troy Athens 69, Lake Orion 55: Taylor McCaskill had 18 and John Van Hoef 16 and 16 rebounds for Athens. (9-8, 6-1 OAA White). Noah Harris and Elmarik Martin each scored 12 for Lake Orion (1-17, 1-6).
Walled Lake Central 74, Pinckney 25: Anton Lucaj had 22 and Nate Collins 17 for Central (14-3). Pinckey is now 7-10.
Walled Lake Western 62, Howell 55: Jerald Booker had 22 for Western (16-1) and John Flowers 13. Jake Wendell scored 20 for Howell (9-8).
Walled Lake Northern 44, South Lyon 31: Tyler Nicewarner had 14 and Brandt Williams 10 for Northern (7-10). Joe Remstad scored 11 for South Lyon (3-13).
Wayne Memorial 45, Waterford Kettering 38: Trevon Woods had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Wayne Memorial (5-12). Kettering is 0-17.
West Bloomfield 69, Birmingham Groves 63: Zach Allread had a28 points and 14 rebounds for West Bloomfield (14-2, 6-1 OAA Blue). Robbie Jones scored 10. Davion Curry scored 17 to lead Groves (4-11, 0-7).
Westland Huron Valley Lutheran 46, Newport Lutheran South 29: Austin Bell had 20 for Huron Valley (6-11, 4-8 MIAC Red). Lutheran South is 2-13, 0-10.
Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood 4, Birmingham Brother Rice 1: Blake Rogow had two goals, Austin Alger had a goal and two assists and Mason Schultz scored for Cranbrook-Kingswood (17-2-4).
Geoff Robinson is a freelance writer; News staff contributed.