Bloomfield Hills — Elijah Collins doesn’t want U-D Jesuit’s streak of Catholic League championships to come to an end while he’s still there.
And, Collins — who will play football at Michigan State next year — played like it Tuesday night, scoring a team-high 14 while displaying outstanding defense to help U-D Jesuit defeat Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, 56-37, in a semifinal at Marian High School.
U-D Jesuit (15-3) will be going after its sixth consecutive Catholic League championship when it plays in the title game at 3 p.m. Sunday at Calihan Hall against the winner of Wednesday’s semifinal between Warren DeLaSalle-Detroit Catholic Central.
Marian’s floor was slick due to uncharacteristically high temperatures — 60s in February — and U-D Jesuit star guard Daniel Friday took a tumble while trying to chase down a St. Mary’s player on a transition basket with 4:44 left in the third and U-D Jesuit on top, 30-15.
Catholic League athletic ddirector Vic Michaels asked the coaches, Pat Donnelly of U-D Jesuit and Todd Covert of St. Mary’s, if they wanted to continue the game Wednesday or play on Tuesday, and the coaches opted to keep playing.
Collins kept playing strong at both ends of the floor, making a three-point play (basket and free throw) for a 45-31 lead with 3:16 left after Friday blocked Geordon Duncan’s layup seconds before — which would have pulled St. Mary’s (12-6) within single digits for the first time since the opening quarter.
“We knew we had to play our championship-like basketball so we tried to play uptempo to try and turn them over real quick to get some easy baskets,” Collins said. “We knew St. Mary’s is a two-headed monster so we went at (Lorne) Bowman and we went at (Caden) Prieskorn with as much energy and aggression as we could to slow them down without fouling.”
U-D Jesuit’s plan worked well with Collins, Jordan Montgomery and James Moss taking turns on Bowman, a 6-foot-1 sophomore who averaged 23 points. They limited him to eight points on 3-of-11 shooting.
Prieskorn, a 6-7 senior, had 15 points and eight rebounds, scoring nine during the second half.
U-D Jesuit pounded the glass early and often in the first half with 6-10 junior Jalen Thomas leading the way, scoring off of second-chance opportunities to take control with a 23-8 lead midway through the second quarter. And U-D Jesuit was forced to do it without Friday, who picked up his first foul on a charge, and his second shortly after to take a seat on the bench less than three minutes into the game.
With Friday on the bench, Collins stepped up, blocking a shot at one end, then scoring in transition to complete a 10-0 run to open up a 13-5 cushion.
St. Mary’s didn’t help itself either. Not only did it make just 4 of 16 shots in the first half, it made just 5 of 9 from the line, then missed its first four free throws of the second half while U-D Jesuit was building a 30-13 on Friday’s inside basket with 5:12 left in the third.
U-D Jesuit senior Zachary Winston scored 13, making three 3-pointers. Friday had nine points and six rebounds.
BLOOMFIELD HILLS CRANBROOK-KINGSWOOD 57, WATERFORD LAKES 47
Sophomore Jack Fairman scored 18 to help Cranbrook defeat Lakes for the third time this season to advance to the C-D championship game at 1 Sunday at Calihan.
Juniors Alex Finney (15) and Clark Doman (13) also scored in double figures for Cranbrook (16-1).
Noah Robak scored 14 for Lakes.
Cranbrook will play the winner of Wednesday’s semifinal between Madison Heights Bishop Foley and Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard.
MORE BOYS BASKETBALL
Belleville 70, Woodhaven 54: Gabe Brown scored 23, Davion Williams 20 and Kaevon Merriweather had 11 assists for Belleville (13-4). Joshua Warren had 30 points, six assists and three steals and Marcus Brown 14 points for Woodhaven (14-4).
Dearborn Heights Crestwood 54, Dearborn Heights Robichaud 53: Hadi Elghoul scored 16 and Amir Chokr 11 for Crestwood (5-10). Daryl Lockhart scored 21 to lead Robichaud.
Detroit Community 77, Detroit University Prep Science & Math 66: Rayvon Williamson had 27 points and five assists and Herman Brown 22 points and 10 rebounds for Community (12-4). Mike Bryant scored 18 and A.J. Sewell 17 for Science & Math.
Harper Woods 69, Henry Ford Academy SCS 33: Sergio Stevenson had 18 points and five assists, Terrell Hunter had 14 points and five rebounds, Ken Thomas had 12 points and 15 assists and Stephan Jackson had 10 points and 12 rebounds for Harper Woods (13-3).
Macomb Dakota 75, Warren Mott 51: Joshuah Hines had 23 points, Ryan Rollins 15 points and 10 rebounds and Mark Tocco 13 assists and seven rebounds for Dakota (12-5). James Chaney scored 22 for Mott (9-8).
New Haven 75, Warren Woods Tower 25: Romeo Weems had 24 points, 11 rebounds, six steals, five assists and three blocks, Tavares Oliver Jr. 15 points, Ronald Jefferey III 11 points, five assists and five steals and Ashton Sherrell 10 points and five steals for New Haven (18-0). Charles Anderson-Louie led Tower with 10 points.
New Haven Merritt Academy 55, Austin Catholic 50: Davon Deshazo scored 13 and Sam Ward 12 for Merritt Academy (10-7). Benjamin Brown scored 18 and Alex Krest 17 for Austin Catholic (1-10).
Oakland Christian 54, Novi Franklin Road Christian 49: Ryder Patterson led Franklin Road with 24 points. Blake Goodman scored 18 and Blake Banks 14 for Oakland Christian (9-7).
Okemos 59, Lansing Everett 49: Jordan Henry had 20 points and Evan Thomas 14 points and four steals for Okemos (14-4, 11-2 CAAC Blue). Allen English, Raequan Funshes and Dominique Davidson each scored 10 for Everett (6-12, 5-9 CAAC Blue).
Redford Thurston 55, Dearborn Edsel Ford 53: Jamar Boyd scored 14 and Demetrius Dowd 13 for Thurston (8-9). Jalal Baydoun led Edsel Ford (12-6) with 20 points and six assists.
River Rouge 54, Ecorse 36: In the MMAC semifinal, Nigel Colvin had 11 points and five rebounds and Micah Parrish 10 points and eight rebounds for River Rouge (16-1).
St. Clair Shores Lake Shore 70, St. Clair 68 (OT): Caleb Bates had 22 points and 12 rebounds, Evan James scored 15 and Nicholas Olmenda added 13 for Lake Shore (12-6). Ben Davis scored 16 for St. Clair (13-5).
St. Clair Shores South Lake 63, Clinton Township Clintondale 51: Amir Gilmore scored 21 and Robert Davis 11 for South Lake (16-2). Clintondale is 10-7.
Sterling Heights 57, Clawson 47: Seth Ochoa scored 24 and Trenell Payne 13 for Sterling Heights (8-9). Dominique Stepher led Clawson (6-12) with 18 points.
Taylor Kennedy 69, Detroit Leadership Academy 51: Terohn Mathis scored 19 and Savion Gray 12 for Kennedy (8-8, 7-6 Downriver). Dadon Tillman led Leadership with 23 points.
Trenton 35, Wyandotte 34: Caroline Gorno scored 12 and McKenna Tanguay eight for Trenton (16-2, 14-1 Downriver). Katie Thorington scored 20 for Wyandotte.
Troy 70, Oxford 46: Clay Sebastian scored 21 and Jason Dietz added 11 for Troy (13-4). Michael Raisch scored 16 for Oxford (5-12).
Walled Lake Northern 58, Walled Lake Central 48: Jake Haver scored 17 and Andy Millikan 13 for Northern (11-7, 9-5 Lakes Valley). Houston Tucker scored 14 for Central (4-13, 4-10).
Warren Fitzgerald 71, Fraser 64: Haniees Minus scored 24 and Carl Pettway 20 for Fitzgerald (11-5). Matt Lockhart scored 21 for Fraser (6-10).
Warren Michigan Collegiate 72, Southgate Anderson 64: Antonio Simley had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Greg White 22 points for Collegiate.
Wayne Memorial 65, Northville 55: Isaiah Lewis had 23 points and four assists and Rashad Williams 23 points, five assists and four rebounds for Wayne Memorial (13-4). Steven Morrissey led Northville (11-7) with 17 points.
Allen Park 57, Lincoln Park 36: Abbie Slate scored 21 and Gracen Kubik added 14 for Allen Park (11-7, 11-4 Downriver). Karrington Gordon scored 21 for Lincoln Park (4-14, 3-11 Downriver).
Birmingham Groves 56, Troy 25: Sha Carter scored 12, Sacha Tyler 11 and Lauren Palmer 10 for Groves (17-2, 12-1 OAA White). Calen Knight led Troy (7-12, 3-10) with 11 points.
Detroit CMA 53, Southfield Bradford Academy 36: Vantane Garrett had 27 points and nine rebounds and Brianna Smith nine points for CMA (13-3). Bradford is 6-11.
Detroit Country Day 84, Detroit Collegiate Prep 25: Maxine Moore scored 20 and Kaela Webb 17 for Country Day (14-4).
Detroit Edison 57, Saginaw Heritage 55 (2OT): Gabrielle Elliott had 21 points and Rickea Jackson 20 points and 11 rebounds for Edison (16-1). Mallory McCartney scored 17 and Shine Strickland-Gills 13 for Heritage (17-1).
Grosse Ile 46, Dearborn Edsel Ford 27: Madison Swick led Grosse Ile (12-8) with 15 points. Katelyn Sadowski scored nine for Edsel Ford (8-11).
Redford Thurston 41, Garden City 36: Naudia Jackson scored 16 for Thurston. Haleigh Maszatics scored 10 for Garden City (4-13).
Royal Oak 46, Troy Athens 37: Samantha Potter had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Royal Oak (17-2, 12-1 OAA White). Madeline Crum led Athens (6-13, 4-9) with 11 points.
News staff contributed;