Tuesday's roundup: Western cruises into Class A semis
Detroit — Gerald Blackshear and Josh McFolley gave Detroit Titans fans a glimpse of the future, helping unbeaten Detroit Western to a dominating 58-37 victory over Ypsilanti Community Tuesday night in a Class A state quarterfinal at Calihan Hall.
Now, the road gets tougher in Western's attempt to win its first state championship, facing U-D Jesuit in a state semifinal at 2:50 p.m. Friday at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.
Western (24-0) defeated Cassius Winston and Jesuit 58-49 at Calihan March 7 in the Operation Friendship game, taking a 14-point halftime lead, then holding on to earn bragging rights between the PSL and Catholic League champions.
Blackshear and McFolley are transfers from Mount Clemens who signed with Detroit. They lost to Detroit Consortium and Josh Jackson with Mount Clemens in the Class C quarterfinals last yearnow are thrilled to get to Breslin.
"In the first quarter, in the first half we tried all game to get the ball inside to Gerald Blackshear to do his thing at the bottom of the rim so he can get us going," McFolley said of Western's game plan, then adding of his opportunity to play on the big stage of the state finals: "It feels great, knowing that we finally get a chance to play at Breslin, especially since we were done at this point last year. We've been talking about it ever since we came up short last yearbecause we felt we were supposed to go last year, but we didn't."
Blackshear, a 6-foot-8 senior center, was an intimidating presence at both ends of the floor, with 12 points and 19 rebounds. He scored off a tip-in to give Western a 13-2 lead in the first quarter, then had a dunk to open up a 27-14 lead with two minutes left in the half.
Blackshear was also special at the defensive end, blocking multiple shots while playing against a much shorter Ypsilanti (19-5) team.
McFolley, a 6-1 shooting guard, scored 19, including five 3-pointers. He made three 3-pointers during a four-minute stretch in the second half to open up a 51-29 lead with 4:25 left.
On playing the rematch with Winston and Jesuit, McFolley said: "We have to do the same thing that we have all year. We have to start off inside out, start off with our big guys and when they start doubling, they throw it out and us jump shooters have to be ready to shoot. We have to play just like we did in the first game, play tight D."
Senior guard Avery Williams scored 12 and junior guard Corey Allen 11 for Ypsilanti (19-5).
Lansing Everett 75, Muskegon 52: Oregon-bound Trevor Manuel and Lansing Everett sent Mr. Basketball award winner Deyonta Davis and defending state champion Muskegon to the sidelines at Lansing Eastern.
Manuel, a 6-foot-9 senior power forward, had 24 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots. Davis (Michigan State) had 10 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.