Madison Heights — It was game fitting to be played at Breslin Center with the Class C state championship on the line, instead of having the winner own the right to play for the regional championship Wednesday night.
Two heavyweights went at it for the fourth time this season and Detroit Edison came back from an 11-point first-half deficit to defeat Detroit Pershing, 63-57, on Monday night at Bishop Foley.
Pershing won the first two meetings with Edison avenging the losses with an 82-45 win in the PSL championship game back on Feb. 16 at Calihan Hall.
Edison 6-foot-5 senior guard Gary Solomon made sure his team would get another shot to make it to Breslin after losing in the state semifinals a year ago.
Solomon scored 31, including 10 in the fourth quarter to rally Edison (13-10) back from a 46-42 deficit early in the quarter.
“Going into halftime our seniors really brought everybody together and said it’s win or go home and we have to finish strong, bring our intensity up,” said Solomon, who is headed to LIU Brooklyn, which will be competing in the NCAA Tournament this week.
His teammates, 6-8 Deante Johnson and point guard Pierre Mitchell, are heading to Cleveland State and Central Michigan, respectively.
Edison’s comeback actually started in the third quarter when its fullcourt pressure forced Pershing (12-11) into multiple turnovers, then turning the mistakes into transition baskets.
It was also at this time when Pershing 6-6 senior Jaylen Benning picked up his fourth foul and had to take a seat with 5:09 left in the third and Pershing up 39-34.
Edison’s Johnson was a factor all night, consistently blocking shots (six) and altering several others. He finished with seven points and 10 rebounds.
Mitchell was also outstanding for Edison in the second half after struggling at both ends in the opening quarters.
After being limited to three points while allowing Pershing 6-4 senior guard D’Juan Seal to score 15 first-half points, including two 3-pointers in the second quarter, Mitchell scored 10 during the second half while making life miserable for Seal, limiting him to six points and five shots.
“First half I did a terrible job on him,” Mitchell said of defending Seal. “At halftime, my guys said they needed me so I took the challenge to heart and played better in the second half, started guarding him to his left side.
“We won by playing better defense in the second half, kept making them turn the ball over.”
Edison also did a much better job of rebounding in the second half, limiting Pershing to one shot for the most part after Pershing scored 12 points off of second chances, including three putback baskets by Seal in the game’s first 61/2 minutes to give his team at 16-8 start.
“Coach said they were only in the game because of rebounding so I had to help Deante down there,” said Solomon, who had seven rebounds. “Once we get on the glass, if you look at it we’re unstoppable in transition.
“I got on P.J. (Mitchell), got into his behind real bad at halftime. I love that guy to death, but when it got down to it, win or go home I got on him and he said I got you and he pulled through for me, did a great job on Seal.
“We knew we had to sit down on defense, really defend and rebound.
“Pershing’s a really good team and they came out and fought hard and we came out and fought hard too.”
Solomon’s comment was never more apparent than in the fourth quarter with 6:20 left and the game even at 46 following Mitchell’s transition basket.
The pace was frantic at both ends of the court with teams were physically beating on each other defensively.
Edison was 9-of-12 on free throws during the fourth quarter.
More Class C
Detroit Loyola 70, Madison Heights Madison 66: Myron Gardner showed why he has multiple Division I offers — Central Michigan, Detroit, Kent State and Cleveland State — and is getting interest from Big Ten teams, scoring 33.
The game was close throughout with Loyola holding a 50-48 lead after three.
Gardner, who averages 24.2 points, then scored 13 fourth-quarter points, helping Loyola open up the final quarter with a 18-7 run to open up a 68-55 cushion.
But, Gardner missed six straight free throws in the final minutes, enabling Madison to pull within three (69-66) on Sylvester Whitley’s 3-pointer from the right corner with four seconds left.
Then, things got interesting with a Loyola player stepping in bounds while attempting to inbounds the ball, resulting in a turnover and giving Madison the ball under its own basket.
Madison returned the favor, committing a turnover of its own on the inbounds pass as Loyola’s Javionne Thompson got a hand on the pass and his teammate Mark Mayberry got the steal for the win.
Austin Brown scored 20 for Madison, making three 3-pointers.
Belleville 90, Dearborn Edsel Ford 55: Devin Alverson had 16 points and Kaevon Merriweather 13 for Belleville (19-5). Jalal Baydound had 17 points and four assists for Ford (15-9).
Macomb Dakota 44, Roseville 39: Ryan Rollins had 23 points, seven rebounds and seven steals, and Mark Tocco 10 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals for Dakota (17-7). Roseville is 16-7.
Okemos 67, Coldwater 46: Jordan Henry had 30 points and Evan Thomas 11 for Okemos (20-4). Dylan Carggart scored 18 and Gage McGuire 16 for Coldwater (19-4).
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 41, Rochester Adams 35: Lorne Bowman scored 22 for St. Mary’s (15-7). Freshman guard Ethan Emerzian scored 10 for Adams (14-10), which was 0-21 last season.
Warren De La Salle 75, Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse 60: Luke Pfromm scored 20 and Kole Gjonaj, Justin Fischer and Jordan Winowiecki 14 each for De La Salle (17-7). Brad Watts and Jason Blackwell each scored 12 for L’Anse Creuse (13-10).
Detroit Country Day 79, North Branch 51: Wendell Green had 20 points and Demetriess Champion 15 for Country Day (17-6). Riley Bugg scored 24 for North Branch (13-9).
Detroit Old Redford 68, Detroit Henry Ford Academy Creative 59: Rocket Watts scored 26 for Old Redford (17-5). Trevion Williams led Henry Ford (14-8) with 21 points.
New Haven 76, St. Clair 56: Romeo Weems had 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, Ashton Sherrell 16 points, Ronald Jeffery 14 and Tavares Oliver 12 for New Haven (24-0). St. Clair is 16-7.
River Rouge 75, St. Clair Shores South Lake 32: Legend Geeter had 13 points and 12 rebounds and Jayvien Torrance-Jackson 11 points and six assists for River Rouge (21-1). South Lake finished 21-3.
Sterling Heights Parkway Christian 61, Allen Park Inter-City Baptist 45: Micah McLain had 24 points, six rebounds and six assists, Bryce Perko 18 points and 12 rebounds and Luke Stricker 10 points, six rebounds and six assists for Parkway Christian (15-8). Cameron Hunter led Inter-City Baptist (14-10) with 15 points.
At Macomb Dakota
Macomb Dakota 44, Roseville 39
Warren De La Salle 75, Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse 60
At U-D Jesuit
Detroit King 49, Farmington 39
U-D Jesuit 72, Livonia Stevenson 49
Traverse City West 70, Mt. Pleasant 62
Flint Carman-Ainsworth 72, Davison 48
At West Bloomfield
Clarkston 71, Troy 46
Orchard Lake St Mary’s 41, Rochester Adams 35
At Battle Creek Lakeview
East Lansing 70, Kalamazoo Central 37
Okemos 67, Coldwater 46
Holland West Ottawa 56, GR Forest Hills Northern 47
Muskegon 55, Grand Rapids Christian 46
Belleville 90, Dearborn Edsel Ford 55
Wayne Memorial 65, Gibraltar Carlson 46
Ann Arbor Skyline 73, Howell 59
Novi 74, White Lake Lakeland 55
Benton Harbor 67, Hudsonville Unity Christian 52
Dowagiac 63, Wayland Union 47
Marshall 58, Parma Western 50
Williamston 62, Ionia 44
At Carleton Airport
Dearborn Divine Child 83, Hillsdale 55
Flat Rock 56, Dundee 48
At Livonia Clarenceville
Detroit Old Redford 68, Detroit Henry Ford Academy 59
River Rouge 75, St Clair Shores South Lake 32
At New Haven
Detroit Country Day 79, North Branch 51
New Haven 76, St. Clair 56
Bridgeport 82, Ovid-Elsie 44
Flint Powers Catholic 76, Freeland 44
At Grand Rapids West Catholic
Grand Rapids Catholic Central 63, Spring Lake 52
Grand Rapids South Christian 74, Fremont 27
Boyne City 55, Ludington 46
Standish-Sterling Central 52, Alma 49 (OT)
At Madison Heights Bishop Foley
Detroit Edison 63, Detroit Pershing 57
Detroit Loyola 70. Madison Heights Madison 66
At Burton Atherton
Flint Beecher 67, Capac 19
Unionville-Sebewaing 42, Saginaw Nouvel 34
Dansville 39, Pewamo-Westphalia 38
Grand Rapids Covenant Christian 62, Hemlock 34
At Beal City
Mason County Central 36, Beal City 34 (OT)
Sanford Meridian Early College 59, North Muskegon 43
Cassopolis 68, Homer 61
Kalamazoo Christian 45, Schoolcraft 44
Hanover-Horton 46, Ann Arbor Greenhills 33
Monroe St Mary Catholic Central 63, Napoleon 39
At Houghton Lake
Maple City Glen Lake 66, McBain 32
Whittemore-Prescott 67, Elk Rapids 59
Calumet 70, Indian River Inland Lakes 26
Iron Mountain 49, Ishpeming Westwood 33
Brimley 59, Wolverine 38
Cedarville 79, Pellston 47
Carney-Nadeau 51, Ewen-Trout Creek 45
Dollar Bay 63, Rapid River 60
At Marine City Cardinal Mooney
SH Parkway 61, Allen Park Inter-City Baptist 45
Southfield Christian 79, Auburn Hills Oak. Christian 50
Flint International Academy 65, Kingston 62
Fulton 65, Bay City All Saints 22
Bellevue 64, St Joseph Lake Michigan 29
Marcellus Howardsville 58, Wyoming Potter’s House 46
At Lansing Christian
Adrian Lenawee Christian 59, Lansing Christian 51
Hillsdale Academy 75, Plymouth Christian 52
Buckley 70, Muskegon Heights Academy 48
Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart 55, Onekama 43
At Traverse City Central
Hillman 71, Suttons Bay 62
Mio 61, Central Lake 40