Detroit — Halfway through the third quarter of Saturday night’s Catholic High School League championship at the University of Detroit Mercy’s Calihan Hall, it looked like U-D Jesuit’s third chance at taking down top dog Orchard Lake St. Mary’s would finally be the charm.
Then Lorne Bowman arrived.
The Michigan Mr. Basketball finalist scored 13 in the fourth quarter and finished with a game-high 28 as St. Mary’s defeated U-D in the Bishop Championship, 61-54, for its first Catholic League title since 2008.
“It feels good, just really refreshing,” Bowman said. “They’ve knocked us off the last three years, ever since I’ve been here at St. Mary’s, and it just feels good to knock them off and take home this trophy.”
Junior guard Julian Roper added 12 for St. Mary’s (18-1, 9-0 Catholic). Sonny Wilson scored 20 and JT Morgan added 14 for U-D (12-7, 5-4).
Bowman’s performance was enough to convince opposing coach, U-D’s Pat Donnelly, that the senior guard is deserving of being called the top prep player in the state.
“That’s why he should be Mr. Basketball,” Donnelly said. “That’s what Mr. Basketball does. He gets my vote. He dominated the second half of that game.”
St. Mary’s trailed by six entering the fourth and trailed by 14 in the third. Bowman said his team had been through enough sticky situations to know the game wasn’t over, it just needed to clean things up on the defensive end.
“The games that we scheduled earlier in the season, the tough games … prepared us for this moment,” Bowman said. “We’ve already been prepared for it. It’s all just muscle memory, I guess.”
U-D took the early advantage in the low-scoring affair, leading 12-8 after one quarter behind four points from Wilson. Wilson then got U-D going to start the second with a 3-pointer.
Bowman got to the line twice but missed all four free-throw attempts to start the game. He’d make up for it as the first half went on, though, scoring a team-high eight through two quarters.
“That’s why (he should be Mr. Basketball),” St. Mary’s coach Todd Covert said. “He can battle through adversity, battle through toughness, that’s what the great ones do. Mental toughness, heart of a lion, that’s why he’s the best player in the state.”
Jason Drake gave St. Mary’s its first lead more than three minutes into the second quarter, scoring consecutive buckets to put it up 16-15. U-D’s Charles Turner immediately took the lead right back, drilling a 3-pointer.
The teams traded leads as the second quarter progressed, with U-D getting a timely run that’d give it a 28-23 lead heading into the half behind a team-high 11 points from Wilson.
U-D came out with all the energy in the third quarter. Morgan, Wilson and Chris Mutebi each put in a bucket as U-D went up 34-23 just 56 seconds into the half to force a St. Mary’s timeout.
Drake ended the run with a jumper from the elbow, but Wilson responded with a statement 3-pointer that put U-D up 14 with just under two minutes gone in the third.
“I’ve known (Wilson) since he was yea big,” Covert said. “His brother went to St. Mary’s. Phenomenal kid, phenomenal family, he’s going to a big-time player.”
Bowman and and Roper traded buckets for St. Mary’s to close the third quarter, as U-D’s lead was cut to 46-40 entering the fourth.
St. Mary’s made life extremely difficult for U-D inside to start the fourth quarter. Jack Crighton and Kareem Rozier each scored before Lorne Bowman made a 3-pointer from the top of the key that put St. Mary’s up for the first time since the opening quarter, 47-46.
“We did a couple different things in the fourth quarter on the ball screens,” Covert said. “We trapped it a little bit, and then we switched it.”
The run continued until 3:30 remained, when Wilson tied the score at 48. JT Morgan regained the lead for U-D on its next possession, only for Bowman to hit another timely 3-pointer that put St. Mary’s up, 51-50.
Bowman hit another big bucket a few moments later for a 55-54 lead with less than a minute remaining. A pair of free throws by Rozier with 27 seconds left produced a three-point lead for St. Mary’s, with an offensive foul by U-D at the other end putting it firmly in the driver’s seat.
“We just didn’t do a good job of keeping Lorne from straight-line drives,” Donnelly said. “That was something we were trying to concentrate on, and he did a good job of getting to the rim and getting fouled.”
Riverview Gabriel Richard 63, Marine City Cardinal Mooney 56: Gabriel Richard (18-1, 11-0 Catholic Intersectional No. 1) allowed just 29 points through the first three quarters, riding a game-high 28 points from junior Michael Holdsclaw and 12 by sophomore Nick Szczechowski. Nick Julio scored 23 for Cardinal Mooney (12-7, 7-4).
More boys basketball
Detroit Cass Tech 68, Detroit Loyola 44: Tyson Acuff scored 30 and grabbed 11 rebounds and Kaylen King scored 16 for Cass Tech (18-1). Kwasi Henry scored 14 for Loyola.
Detroit Edison Public School Academy 74, Detroit Mumford 56: Calvin Marshall scored 17 while Ralph Bland II and Raynard Williams Jr. each had 12 for Edison (15-4). DeSean McMurray had 18 points for Mumford (11-8).
Macomb Dakota 86, Grosse Pointe South 71: Ryan Rollins had 31 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for Dakota in the MAC Red White title game. Xavier Glenn scored 20, Joshua Hines 15 and Shawn Schwishinger 11 for Dakota (17-3). Matthew Edwards had 14 points for South (16-3).
Romulus 58, River Rouge 52: Sierra Hardy scored 31 for Romulus (14-6). River Rouge is 10-7.