Detroit — U-D Jesuit showed why it is considered to be the front-runner to win the Division 1 state championship, dominating Roseville, 91-54, Tuesday night in a state quarterfinal game at Calihan Hall.
U-D Jesuit — 24-2 and ranked No. 3 in The News Super 20 — set the tempo by scoring the game’s first nine points with senior point guard Julian Dozier attacking the basket at every opportunity and either scoring or finding a teammate to finish near the basket.
U-D Jesuit led 24-9 after one with Dozier and physical 6-foot-4, 220-pound senior forward Daniel Friday scoring six apiece.
Then, U-D Jesuit opened up the second quarter on a 12-2 run to open up a 36-11 cushion with senior guard Caleb Hunter coming off the bench to make a four-point play (3-pointer and free throw) for a 28-11 lead, then another 3-pointer to open a 32-11 advantage before Friday dunked in transition for the 25-point cushion.
Simply put, U-D Jesuit dominated inside, which resulted in the one-sided victory.
Friday and Jalen Thomas each finished with 20 points with more than a handful of Friday’s baskets coming off dunks. Dozier scored 14 and Hunter had 13 points.
“I felt we had to come out and match or surpass their energy and I thought we did that,” said U-D Jesuit coach Pat Donnelly, who guided his team to the Class A state championship in 2016 with Cassius Winston (Big Ten Player of the Year at MSU) leading the way.
Donnelly was impressed with Dozier.
“He’s so quick and makes great decisions with the basketball,” Donnelly said of Dozier, who has offers from Eastern Michigan, Oakland and Western Kentucky. “He can score multiple ways or if they collapse on him. He’s a pretty good passer that he can find open shooters or find somebody for a cut. He played phenomenally well tonight I thought.”
“He wanted to stay in, said he wanted a windmill (dunk) and I said you get that windmill on Friday at the Breslin Center,” said Donnelly of Friday. “He plays with a lot of energy like that and when he plays that aggressively and his thought is ‘that every time I go to the basket I’m dunking on somebody,’ he’s tough to stop.
“I’m just proud of them (his players). I think we’re hitting our stride. We’re starting to put points on the board. We’re making better decisions, not turning the ball over as much. Khy Winston came in and hit a couple of big 3s, Caleb Hunter, I don’t think he missed a 3 all night. I told him to quit shooting 2s, you haven’t missed from 3 yet. I think when we’re hitting on all cylinders we’re pretty tough to beat.”
U-D Jesuit will face No. 18 Okemos in a state semifinal Friday at 2 or following the noon semifinal between Lincoln and Howell. Howell (20-6) upset No. 10 Saginaw Tuesday, 57-56.
Senior guard Darien Banks scored 15 and junior guard Martell Turner 13 for No. 19 Roseville, which won its first regional in school history last week.
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Okemos 50, East Kentwood 45: Evan Thomas had 22 points and eight rebounds and Fabian Leone 10 points for Okemos (23-2). Ryel Daye scored 19 and for East Kentwood (16-10).
Harper Woods Chandler Park 53, New Haven 51: Tyland Tate had 23 points, seven rebounds and hit the winning shot as time expired for Chandler Park (22-0). Ronald Jeffery scored 21 for New Haven (24-2).
email@example.com; Detroit News staff contributed