Detroit — Undefeated Detroit King bounced back from a halftime deficit to win its fourth consecutive Public School League championship with a 66-53 victory over Detroit Cass Tech on Friday at Calihan Hall.
King (18-0, 12-0 PSL) found itself in an unusual position heading into halftime, trailing 30-28 to a Cass Tech team that bounced back from an early 10-point deficit.
"We went back in the locker room and coach told us to get ourselves together or we were going to be crying afterwards," King senior guard Janae Williams said.
"I didn't want that to happen."
The dynamic duo of Williams and Leah Mathis provided the spark King needed in the second half.
Williams finished with 22 points, including seven late in the third quarter that put King up 46-35.
While Williams was busy scoring, Mathis was doing the dirty work on the block. The senior forward worked her way to 12 points and 14 rebounds.
"We told her she had to step up on the boards," King coach William Winfield said. "We got hammered in the first half."
After taking a 23-13 lead into the second quarter, King fell victim to an outburst from Cass Tech's Taylor Parker, who scored all of her 11 points in the final four minutes of the second quarter.
King got out to a quick start in the second half, taking an 11-point lead in the third quarter, but Cass Tech's K'Lynn Willis refused to give up.
The senior guard went off for 19 second-half points as she scored the first 16 points of the half for Cass Tech (14-4, 11-2 PSL). No other Cass Tech player got on the board in the second half until Candice Tate hit a layup with 4:15 left to play to pull her team within five.
The turning point came less than a minute later when Mathis took exception to a foul by Cass Tech's Rose Fall on teammate Alicia Norman. Mathis was hit with a technical foul, Norman hit her two free throws, but Parker missed the two freebies for Cass Tech. A couple Williams baskets later, and King was celebrating another PSL crown.
"I never thought I'd win it that many times," Winfield said with a smile. "But I'll take it."
Friday's other games
Allen Park 52, Gibraltar Carlson 14: Audrey Newstead had 16 points and Arielle Gamble scored 12 for Allen Park (14-4, 11-2 Downriver). Carlson is 4-13, 3-9.
Birmingham Roeper 39, Taylor Baptist Park 28: Akiwa Tilton had 16 points for Roeper (16-3). Mikaylah Laplante scored 11 points for Baptist Park.
Grosse Pointe South 52, Grosse Pointe North 42: Cierra Rice had 18 points and Aliezza Brown 11 for South (14-4, 10-1 MAC Red). Erin Armbruster scored 14 to lead North (8-10, 3-8). Lauren Lesha added 12.
Ionia 45, Eaton Rapids 31: Anna Riccius had 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Jaylynn Williams had 13 points for Ionia (10-9).
Macomb Dakota 51, Romeo 47: Carmen Hoskins had 13 points and 10 rebounds, Tara Bieniewicz had 13 points, Emily Langolf had 11, and Corbin Hison 10 for Dakota (4-14, 1-9 MAC Red). Kylie Resner scored 20 for Romeo (8-10, 2-9).
Sterling Heights 53, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley 30: Sade' Lemons scored 17 to lead Sterling Heights (10-8, 7-4 MAC White). Maria Berishaj added nine. Chippewa Valley is now 1-17, 0-11.
Trenton 44, Melvindale 32: Shelby Kohler scored 10 points with eight rebounds for Trenton (11-7, 8-6 Downriver).
Utica 48, Utica Eisenhower 38: Lindsey Lavelle had 12 points and Cierra VonZittwitz had 10 points for Utica (11-7, 11-1 MAC White). Eisenhower is 13-6, 9-3.
White Lake Lakeland 28, Northville 25: Amanda Lock had 12 points for Lakeland (12-6). Brook Adams scored seven to lead Northville (11-7).