Class B semifinals: Detroit Henry Ford dominates
East Lansing — Detroit Henry Ford made sure the Public School League had a proud day at Breslin Center, dominating Cadillac, 64-38, in the Class B state semifinals Friday night.
Earlier, PSL champion Detroit Western advanced to the Class A title game with a 55-46 victory over U-D Jesuit.
Henry Ford used a 23-6 second quarter for the difference against Cadillac (18-9), opening up a 34-17 halftime lead.
Henry Ford (21-5) shot 75 percent (9-for-12) during the quarter, forcing five turnovers with its fullcourt pressure and turning them into transition baskets to earn a championship game date tonight with Wyoming Godwin Heights (25-1).
"I came out a little bit nervous, never playing on a college floor before," Henry Ford junior guard James Towns said. "After the first few shots, first few minutes I started getting comfortable in my rhythm and I started getting my teammates involved, too."
Towns (nine points) and 6-foot-5 senior Josh Davis (seven) were the catalysts during the 23-6 run, including Henry Ford's first five points of the quarter to open up a 16-13 lead.
Then, Davis scored on a dunk in transition, then slammed home another off an alley-oop pass from Towns to open up a 20-13 lead.
Senior guard Antaun Carter then got into the act, scoring off a driving layup in transition following a forced turnover, then driving the left baseline for a three-point play (basket and free throw) for a 28-17 lead with 1:25 left. Davis would cap off the first half with a three-pointer in the final seconds.
How bad did it get for Cadillac? Cadillac senior guard Andrew Emington was ready to put on a highlight reel play with a behind the back pass to teammate Evan Ferritto, but his layup chance was rejected by Carter. Davis made a 3-pointer at the other end for a 37-19 cushion.
Towns finished with 24 points on 9-for-12 shooting. Davis scored 17, including a dunk off a steal to open up a 25-point lead (57-32) with just over five minutes left.
"In the first quarter, I had to let the game come to me, get my rhythm with my shot," said Davis, who shot 5-of-17, including 2-for-8 3-pointers. "I'm still a little off, but I'll come in tomorrow in better rhythm with my shot and let the game come to me. That's my focus on tomorrow's game."
Emington scored 14 and Ethan Myers had 13 points for Cadillac, which had 19 turnovers and was limited to 35.3 percent shooting.
Myers scored seven during the opening quarter with a long-range three giving the Vikings their largest lead at 9-4, but Henry Ford would certainly regroup.
Wyoming Godwin Heights 70, Milan 64: Leon Redd's ability to stay on the floor and play with four fouls late in the game was a big reason Wyoming Godwin Heights pulled off an upset of defending state champion Milan.
Godwin Heights came back from a five-point deficit with five minutes left with Redd leading the way.
Redd, a 5-11 junior guard, scored 12 of his 19 during the final quarter. He scored eight during a 12-2 run to turn a 57-53 deficit into a 65-59 lead with 1:30 left.
"The coaches believe in him and for him to play with four fouls in the fourth quarter was huge," Godwin Heights coach Tyler Whittemore said of Redd, who remained on the court despite picking up his fourth foul in the opening minute of the fourth. "He's been big for us all year. He's always confident and understands what his strong suit is."
Yes, like the NBA three-pointer Redd made to give Godwin Heights a 62-57 lead.
"It was right in front of me," Whittemore said. "I told him to shoot it."
And, it's a certainty that Whittemore told Redd to take the ball to the basket moments later when he scored on a three-point play (basket and free throw) to open up a six-point cushion (65-59) with 1:31 left.
Godwin Heights (25-1) outscored Milan, 26-17, during the fourth quarter, shooting 8-for-14 after being limited to 27 percent shooting the first three quarters.
"We try to do a good job of playing defense in the fourth quarter, but obviously we didn't do that in giving up 26 points," Milan coach Chris Pope said. "We knew they were athletic. We just didn't do a good job of playing the right way at our end. But, give them credit. They were not scared. They didn't back down. They played a heck of a game."
Pope pointed to his team's 21 turnovers and inability to keep Godwin Heights off the offensive glass (25 rebounds) for being part of the Big Reds' demise.
Whittemore said his players had a "chip on their shoulders" with Milan having seniors Latin Davis (Youngstown State) and 6-9, 240-pound Nick Perkins (Buffalo) being named first-team all-state by Associated Press voters and his players maybe being overlooked.
Godwin Heights 6-4 senior Michael Williams gave away several inches to Nick Perkins (21 points, 13 rebounds), but took the challenge to slow him down, limited him to 8-for-19 shooting.
"I tried to get him to play to his right because he's all left hand," Williams said of Perkins. "I tried to take that (left side) away and then box him out so he wouldn't get second chances."
Sure, Perkins got six offensive rebounds, but Williams finished with a double-double (13 points, 13 rebounds), grabbing nine offensive rebounds. Delaney Blaylock, a 6-5 senior guard, finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds, six offensive rebounds for Godwin Heights.
Davis had 17 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for Milan (24-3).
"I don't think it's too much what they did," Davis said. "We had 21 turnovers."
Simply put, Milan didn't finish … and Godwin Heights did.
Milan put itself in position to get back in the title game with a strong third quarter to turn a 35-32 halftime deficit into a 47-44 lead entering the fourth quarter, limiting Godwin Heights to 3-of-18 shooting while blocking a half dozen shots.
But, Redd was ready to take over during the stretch run.