Detroit — No. 18 Detroit Cass Tech dominated PSL rival and previously unbeaten Detroit King in the second half Thursday afternoon to come away with a 68-43 win to clinch the East Division championship.
Precious Fields, a 5-foot-10 junior forward who had multiple triple-doubles this season, had another impressive stat line in leading Cass Tech (12-1, 8-0) with 12 points, 19 rebounds, six assists, five steals and three blocks.
Cass Tech led 16-10 after one and held a 29-24 halftime lead despite turning the ball over 13 times against King’s pressure defense in the second quarter.
Cass Tech, which has a deep bench, tired King (9-1, 7-1) out in the third, forcing a half dozen turnovers while playing outstanding defense in the halfcourt as well, forcing King to miss its first eight shots of the quarter until Monica Williams’ runner in the lane with 26 seconds left cut the deficit to 43-29.
“In the third quarter, we played them in a fullcourt zone, so then they faced our pressure and we just moved into our gaps and got into the passing lanes to get steals and turned them into layups,” said Fields who averages 19 points and 12 rebounds. “I came out here feeling I can’t do anything less than what I have been doing. This was a big game, a championship game so I really had to step up for our fans.”
Cass Tech coach LaTonya Tate was proud of her team’s maturity, impressed with how the players talked at halftime on what they had to do in the second half.
“We have a young team with a big group of juniors, a couple of seniors and a couple of sophomores and I think they are growing up,” said Tate of Cass Tech which starts just one senior in guard Kennedy Tidwell who scored 12 of her 14 points in the second half, including two 3-pointers.
“The one thing that our young ladies actually discussed at halftime before I even talked with them is just settling down. We were in a hurry in the first half, so they figured it out before I got to them. They just settled into our offense and executed. They understand now what it takes.”
Tate was impressed with the play of Fields, but also three-year starting point guard, junior Desiree Jackson and Tidwell.
“Precious Fields has been unbelievable this year, she’s been leading us in scoring as well as rebounding, just really settled in as junior after having a great off season where she got herself in great shape,” said Tate of Fields.
“She (Desiree Jackson) has been our starting point guard the last three years, a young lady that knows how to settle us down and I give her credit for having the ball in her hand and getting us into the offenses.
“My senior, Kennedy Tidwell hit the 3 really well today, and I just give credit to the whole team for coming together and talking it out at halftime.”
Jackson scored 18, seven in the third quarter, along with six steals. Keyonna Johnson scored 10 and physical post player Taylor Smith, four blocks.
Cass Tech continued to put the pressure on King in the fourth, opening up a 32-point lead midway through the quarter.
“We kind of ran out of gas, our bench wasn’t as long as we needed it to be, faced their pressure while trying to apply pressure back,” said King first-year coach Willie Riley. “I feel the PSL is kind of underrated, Cass Tech is very good and so is Renaissance, and I feel we are too, facing an average team about the time the first half is over we’d run you out of the gym, but they have enough talent to withstand it by rotating about nine kids.”
Williams scored 23 for King and Marche Borden had 11 points and eight rebounds.
The PSL playoffs get underway next week with No. 14 Detroit Renaissance (12-1, 8-0) — the West Division champion —and Cass Tech being the favorites with King, defending champion Mumford (7-2, 7-1 West) and Cody (11-3, 6-2 West) the top challengers.
More girls basketball
Detroit Communication and Media Arts 39, Detroit Northwestern 30: Kamry Hill had 17 points, including five 3-pointers, and Cameron Wheeler had eight points and five steals for Communication (7-6, 5-3 Detroit PSL West). Dayania Johnson had 13 points for Northwestern (5-8, 4-4).
Detroit Denby 64, Detroit International Academy 7: Eshawnda Smith had 20 points and 11 steals, Shariyelle Borden 15 points and seven rebounds, and Ayana Love 14 points, 12 steals and six assists for Denby (9-4, 6-2 Detroit PSL East). International is 0-8, 0-8.
Detroit Renaissance 72, Detroit Cody 30: Kailee Davis had 21 points with seven steals, Taylor Anderson had 13 points with 10 rebounds, and Nika Dorsey had 13 points and six rebounds for Renaissance (12-1, 8-0 PSL West). Cody is 11-3, 6-2.
Detroit Southeastern 34, Hope of Detroit Academy 32: Amiyh Owens had 21 points for Southeastern (5-9). Hope of Detroit is 2-5.
Grosse Ile 54, Milan 40: Helena Formentin had 39 points for Grosse Ile (3-10, 3-6 Huron). Isabelle Stephenson had 14 points for Milan (3-9, 2-6).
Hartland 72, Plymouth 23: Amanda Roach and Madi Moyer each had 14 points for Hartland (11-1, 7-1 KLAA West). Sophie Zelek had 13 points for Plymouth (6-6, 3-5).
Macomb Dakota 42, Warren Cousino 23: Ella Burger scored 16 and Tamia Tounsel had 10 points and 12 rebounds for Dakota (12-1, 7-1 MAC Red). Sydney Dixon and Rachael Adewusi each scored 10 for Cousino (3-11, 0-9).
Plymouth Christian Academy 55, Lutheran Westland 19: Anna Fernandez scored 25 had 25 points and 11 steals for Plymouth Christian (9-3). Lutheran Westland is 3-8.
St Clair Shores Lakeview 57, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley 42: Tricia Sankiewicz had 21 points and Kayla Austin had 14 points for Lakeview (10-3, 7-2 MAC Blue). Alexa Garavaglia had 17 points for Chippewa Valley (4-9, 3-6).
Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes 60, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood 36: Brooklyn Robak had 21 points, Quinn Robak had 18 points, and Isabelle Kline had 10 points for Waterford (7-6, 4-2 Catholic). Ella Bousamra had 11 points for Cranbrook (5-7, 2-3).
Westland John Glenn 42, Dearborn Fordson 41: India Grissom had 16 points and Taylor Watkins-Johnson had 17 points for Westland Glenn (4-8, 2-6 KLAA East). Dianh Faleh had 13 points for Fordson (5-7, 2-6).
Girls basketball scores
Auburn Hills Avondale 74, Birmingham Seaholm 30
Chesterfield Austin Catholic 39, Detroit Cristo Rey 19
Clinton Township Clintondale 28, Madison Heights Madison 21
Dearborn Heights Star International 55, Dearborn Heights WISE Academy 2
Detroit Central 57, Detroit West Side Academy 10
Eastpointe 58, New Haven 35
Flat Rock 54, Riverview 42
Grosse Pointe North 53, Port Huron Northern 50 (OT)
Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett 49, West Bloomfield Frankel Jewish Academy 6
Macomb L'Anse Creuse North 45, Warren Fitzgerald 12
New Baltimore Anchor Bay 34, Fraser 22
Romeo 49, Sterling Heights 16
Royal Oak Shrine Catholic 52, Riverview Gabriel Richard 30
St Clair Shores South Lake 30, Roseville 26
Utica 32, Sterling Heights Stevenson 15
Warren Lincoln 55, Hazel Park 50
Warren Mott 58, Warren Woods Tower 24
Detroit Cornerstone Health & Technology 65, Detroit Leadership Academy 34: J'sean Sarria and Jermaine Taylor each had 13 points for Cornerstone (5-7). Leadership Academy is 4-3.
Boys basketball scores
Ferndale 56, Lake Orion 44
Madison Heights Lamphere 52, Center Line 39
Pontiac 68, Troy Athens 6
Port Huron Northern 45, Fraser 39