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Detroit King throws blanket on Henry Ford in 50-43 victory, advances to PSL title game

David Goricki
The Detroit News

Detroit — King punched its ticket to the PSL championship game by putting on a strong defensive effort to earn a 50-43 victory over Detroit Henry Ford in a semifinal game Thursday afternoon at Cass Tech.

King will try to earn its first PSL title since 2012 when it plays Saturday at 6 at Renaissance against Pershing, which defeated Douglass 73-64 in its  Two-time defending PSL champion Cass Tech was unable to compete in the tournament due to COVID-19 issues.

Cody will face Cass Tech in the girls' PSL title game Saturday at Renaissance. Tip-off is 3 p.m. Defending PSL champion Renaissance was also unable to compete due to COVID-19 problems.

King — 14-2 and ranked No. 5 in The News Super 20 — was sloppy early on and Henry Ford took advantage, taking a 10-5 lead with Ahmad Ford knocking down a pair of 3-pointers.

Detroit King's Chansey Willis shoots over Henry Ford's Stephan Bibbs in the second half.

King closed the opening quarter with a 10-0 run, converting numerous turnovers into transition baskets for a 15-10 cushion.

King increased the lead to 31-21 at halftime, shooting 50 percent from the field while limiting Henry Ford to 28 percent shooting.

Ford ensured Henry Ford (8-7) stayed within 10 at the half, scoring 11 on 4-of-6 shooting while his teammates were a combined 3-of-20.

Henry Ford guard Mario Hill consistently got to the basket but had trouble finishing with King 6-foot-8 center Shainen Carter showing he is healthy and a rim protector.

Carter suffered an MCL strain early in the season and missed 10 games before returning last week.

Carter was a force at both ends of the court, contributing 10 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Senior Omar Zeigler had a double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds) and senior point guard Chansey Willis, 11 points.

King led 42-35 after three quarters and then missed its first six shots of the fourth, also turning the ball over three times to allow Henry Ford to get within 42-38 on Hill’s 3-pointer.

King defensive stopper Davin Walker stepped up, making a 15-footer before making a steal and scoring in transition for a 46-38 lead. It would be King’s lone baskets of the quarter.

Henry Ford had multiple chances to cut the deficit to one or pull even in the final minutes, but either missed 3-pointers or failed to finish at the basket.

“We got off to a slow start on defense, just playing rattled and got settled in about four minutes in,” said Walker, who finished with nine points. “We didn’t shoot the ball as well as we wanted to in the fourth quarter, but we found ways to score (four free throws), played well defensively and did what we had to do to get the win. It feels good to be in that title game.”

Carter's return made a big difference, Walker said.

“It means everything to have him back," said Walker, "having a big 6-8 dude in the paint, being able to throw into the post and having them double team him and having him kick it out. It feels good having him back and he’s not 100 percent yet.”

Ford finished with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting, 3-of-6 on 3-pointers for Henry Ford. Kahlen Naope scored 11.

More PSL

►Pershing 73, Douglass 64: Squally Hill had 33 points and Brian Woodland added 14 for Pershing. Pierre Brooks scored 22, including 14 in the first half, while Javantae Randle had 17 for Douglass.