Detroit — Orchard Lake St. Mary’s was labeled as having the premier backcourt in the state and Mr. Basketball finalist Lorne Bowman, four-star junior Julian Roper and flashy sophomore point guard Kareem Rozier backed up the high praise for three quarters … and then overtime Thursday night by winning the city championship, 70-65 in overtime, over Cass Tech at Calihan Hall for the first time since 2008.
St. Mary’s — 19-1 and ranked No. 3 in The News Super 20 poll — made 4-of-10 3-pointers and forced multiple turnovers in the opening quarter to take a 16-7 lead, increased the cushion to 29-16 at halftime and to 44-25 after three in the Operation Friendship championship game against No. 5 Detroit Cass Tech (18-2), which played without center Rylan Bowens.
But, then Cass Tech had the best quarter of its season to force overtime and it could have pulled the victory out in regulation.
St. Mary’s limited Cass Tech to 9-of-33 shooting through three quarters, but then Cass Tech made 10-of-14 shots from the field and had a chance to win the game when Kalen King got fouled on a 3-point shot from the left corner with 5.4 seconds left, trailing 54-52.
King, who is being recruited by Michigan as a cornerback, stepped to the line and made his first two free throws to give Cass Tech 29 fourth-quarter points to pull even. But, after St. Mary’s called timeout, he missed his final free throw and St. Mary’s missed a 3-pointer as time expired, forcing overtime.
Cass Tech actually took its first lead since the opening minutes on King’s layup in the opening seconds of overtime, but then Roper scored on a three-point play (inside basket and free throw) and Bowman went on the attack, taking the ball to the basket at every opportunity.
Bowman, who will play next year at Wisconsin, scored eight of his game-high 21 in overtime. He made 15-of-18 free throws and St. Mary’s converted 31-of-35 free throws, including 12-of-13 in overtime.
“I was feeling it there, just glad I was able to knock them down for the team and do whatever it takes to win,” said Bowman who was in a head-to-head matchup with Cass Tech point guard Tyson Acuff, a Mr. Basketball finalist headed to Duquesne.
“We just started to turn the ball over (in the fourth quarter) and turnovers turn into runouts and they started scoring points. Tyson Acuff started to turn up and he’s a great player, hats off to them for coming out and fighting. I’m just glad we were able to pull it out.”
Acuff finished with 22 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter after being held scoreless in the third. King scored 15 and Kyle LeGreair had 13 points.
Roper scored 17 and played well defensively with four steals and four blocks. Rozier scored 14 and 6-7 junior center Peter Nwoke, 10 points.
After Acuff opened the game with a 3-pointer, Bowman made a baseline move and dunk at the other end to pull St. Mary’s within 3-2, but then took a seat for several minutes after limping off the court following an offensive foul by Cass Tech's Davonte Murray.
With Bowman to the bench with 5:04 left in the quarter, sophomore guard Jack Crighton came in and knocked down a 3-pointer, then sophomore Jason Drake connected on another long-range shot and Roper made two more 3-pointers for the 16-7 cushion as Bowman returned in the final minute of the quarter.
St. Mary’s, which limited Cass Tech to 32% shooting in the first half, continued to play strong defense in the third quarter and it needed to since it was now cold itself from the perimeter.
St. Mary’s coach Todd Covert had Bowman and Roper switch off defensively on Acuff, holding him scoreless during the third quarter while building the lead to 44-25, closing the third on a 7-0 run, starting with a Rozier basket off a steal, then a Rozier’ 3-pointer from the left corner and a Roper transition basket.
U-D Jesuit 67, Detroit Douglass 59: Charles Turner and Addison Kalmbach each made four 3-pointers to help U-D Jesuit defeat No. 20 Detroit Douglass in the Operation Friendship Finalist game.
Turner scored 14 to lead a balanced U-D Jesuit attack that included 13 points from freshman guard Sonny Wilson, 12 from Kalmbach, nine points from Chris Mutebi and eight from Isaiah Friday.
Pierre Brooks, a 6-5 junior guard who has offers from Michigan and Michigan State, scored 26 in front of MSU coach Tom Izzo, making consecutive 3-pointers to pull Douglass (15-5) within 50-44 with 7:16 left, then made a three-point play (basket and free throw) to cut the deficit to 58-56 before Wilson answered with a three-point play to start a 7-1 run for a 65-57 cushion for U-D Jesuit (13-7).
More boys basketball
Bloomfield Hills Roeper 74, Farber Hebrew Day 50: Evan Akkashian had 35 points and Jonathan Johnson had 23 points for Roeper (15-4). Hebrew Day is 5-4.
Burton St. Thomas More Academy 58, Chesterfield Austin Catholic 29: Bion Din had 17 points for St Thomas (12-5). Gabriel Nahhas had 16 points for Austin Catholic (5-9).
Farmington 62, Rochester Adams 41: Robert Davis Jr. had 17 points and Jaden Akins had 15 points for Farmington (10-10, 9-3 OAA White). Rochester Adams is 6-14, 3-9.
Oak Park 66, Detroit Catholic Central 62: Fred Garlind had 25 points with eight rebounds and six assists, Devontae Edwards had 21 points and five assists, and Solomon Johnson had 14 points and eight rebounds for Oak Park (9-11). Cooper Craggs had 26 points and Adam Noman had 14 points for Detroit Catholic (7-13).
Okemos 58, Caledonia 53: Austin Gibson had 13 points, and Noah Pruitt and Mitchell Sambaer each had 12 points for Okemos (16-4). Aaron Henry and Luke Thelen each had 13 points for Caledonia (9-11).
River Rouge 57, Southfield Christian 56: Legend Geeter had 24 points and 12 rebounds, Keyshawn Devlin had 13 points, and Ahmoni Weston had 12 points for River Rouge (19-1). De'Jhon Humphrey had 20 points for Southfield Christian (16-4).
Roseville 70, Detroit University Prep 64: Aaron Hunter had 25 points and Jason Hunter had 18 points for Roseville (11-9). Malcolm Cain had 30 points and Sterling Blakely had 15 points for University Prep (5-14).
Walled Lake Central 54, Milford 42: Jeremy Eppes had 10 points with four assists and four steals and Elijah Levin had nine points and five assists for Walled Lake Central (8-12). Nathan Rand had nine points for Milford (5-15).
Walled Lake Northern 55, Waterford Kettering 35: Kevyn Robertson had 17 points and 12 rebounds and Alex Klein had 12 points for Walled Northern (11-9, 9-7 Lakes Valley). Dominic Phifer had 15 points and Benny Crenshaw had 11 points for Kettering (3-17, 3-13).
Boys basketball scores
Ann Arbor Central Academy 62, Warren Michigan Math & Science 14
Armada 45, St Clair Shores Lakeview 43
Dearborn Divine Child 79. Detroit Cody 64
Dearborn Fordson 43, Garden City 14
Dearborn Heights Annapolis 80, Allen Park 66
Dearborn Heights Crestwood 61, Inkster American International Academy 28
Detroit U-D Jesuit 67, Detroit Douglass 59
Dexter 50, Parma Western 43
Fraser 52, Warren Cousino 39
Macomb L'Anse Creuse North 70, Mount Clemens 67
Madison Heights Bishop Foley 63, Center Line 56
Monroe 40, Flat Rock 21
New Boston Huron 70, Taylor 63
Orchard Lake St Mary's 70, Detroit Cass Tech 65 (OT)
Oxford 67, Birmingham Groves 64
Port Huron Northern 78, Marysville 64
River Rouge 57, Southfield Christian 56
Riverview 64, Trenton 59 (OT)
Rochester Hills Stoney Creek 65, Berkley 42
Royal Oak Shrine Catholic 57, Clawson 48
Saline 51, Redford Union 42
St Clair 54, North Branch 43
Troy Athens 71, Birmingham Seaholm 61
Waterford Mott 68, South Lyon 54
Ypsilanti Lincoln 78, Grand Rapids Catholic Central 49
Detroit News staff contributed