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Posted On: 12/10/17 12:56 PM
The Horatio Williams Tip Off Classic has always been filled with the state’s top talent. This event has the format of Detroit Public Schools versus other schools. DPS basketball has always been special. DPS players are out on the hardwood representing their school and their city. They always give it their all regardless of the opponent. This year the event took place at the historic Cass Tech High School, reigning city champions. As usual, this event did not disappoint.
Detroit Western Cowboys vs. River Rogue Panthers
The game between these two powerhouses started off very gritty and scrappy for the two programs. Battling down low for boards and diving on the floor for loose balls. With shots not falling and poor decision making, the final score after the first was 9-5 in favor of River Rogue.
After one, the Panthers changed defensive schemes to a full court man defense. River Rogue’s junior guard, Bralin Toney, played tough strong defense on Detroit Western’s freshman guard, DeMario Walk. Despite being very undersized at the varsity level, Walk showed a ton of poise, potential, and skill running the Cowboy’s offense the entire first half. Halfway through the second quarter, the Panthers faced a one point deficit, which was quickly turned around by Nigel Colvin, who totaled eight first half points for the Panthers. Colvin also recently led the Panthers to a win in their season opener against Detroit Osborn where he totaled 22 points.
Despite a two point first half for Detroit Western’s senior stud, Tray Jackson, he contributed on the defensive end contesting shots and grabbing boards. The Cowboys came out the gate with intensity with a six point quarter by Jackson and a five point quarter for Walk including a half court buzzer beater. However, this late push was not enough for Detroit Western as River Rogue pulled away and won the contest 49-33. River Rogue was led by Nigel Colvin who ended with 17 points. Senior facilitator, Jayvien Torrance Jackson also chipped in with 8 points, 4 assists, and 4 steals. What was most impressive about this River Rogue team is their teamwork. They had a plethora of vocality on the defensive end which was headed by Jayvien “First Team All Defense” Torrance-Jackson. Ultimately, this is due to the brains behind the brilliance, Head Coach Mark White who has always emphasized hard work and defense. What makes this victory even more impressive is that the Panther’s freshman big, Legend Geeter, was sidelined with a high ankle sprain. Leading the Cowboys was Tray Jackson who had 13 points with 11 coming in the second half.
Detroit Renaissance Phoenix vs. Flint Carman-Ainsworth Cavaliers
This was one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the day with the post play of two of the top junior bigs in the mitten, Flint Carman-Ainsworth’s Mike Fletcher against Detroit Renaissance’s Carrington McCaskill. Flint Carman-Ainsworth came out strong in the opening minutes with a fast break lay up by senior floor general, Ja’Kavien Lewis and a fast break dunk by senior guard/wing, Omari Duncan gave them a quick 9-4 lead, which Renaissance was quick to respond to. One of the other intriguing matchups today in this contest is between Lewis and Detroit Renaissance’s starting freshman PG, Keon Henderson. The two undersized guards both battled on defense and were smart with the Ball. At the end of one, Detroit Renaissance led 16-14 but what kept Flint Carman-Ainsworth in the game the most was the play of Duncan. Duncan was playing like the energizer bunny, running and playing hard on both sides of the floor with no signs of fatigue.
The first bucket of the second quarter came from downtown by Flint Carman-Ainsworth senior guard, Montara Morris. Morris’ bucket was later followed by another Flint Carman-Ainsworth three, this time coming from Duncan. As Detroit Renaissance continued to answer back, a fast break dunk by Duncan seemed to set the tone for the rest of the half. What was a tie game turned into a 12-2 run thanks to the defensive play by Lewis and scoring of Duncan. Duncan totaled 11 first half points including three thunderous dunks.
After the half, Detroit Renaissance came out attacking the paint more and playing smarter in transition. A few quick buckets by the junior duo of, Chandler Turner and McCaskill during this early push turned this game around, bringing what was an 11 point deficit to a 6 point lead
. These two could not be stopped as they combined for 19 of Detroit Renaissance’s 21 third quarter points. As it looked like Renaissance was about to pull away, Lewis threw Duncan a fast break alley oops dunk as a part of Flint Carman-Ainsworth 7-0 run in the last 50 seconds of the quarter to regain the lead.
Scary moment in the opening minute of the fourth quarter as Detroit Renaissance’s senior guard, Jeremiah Parrish came down in pain as he was later carried of the court and sidelined for the remainder of the game. After this incident, Flint Carman-Ainsworth put their foot on the gas. Their senior star, Lewis was determined to win this game. Scoring a quick seven points in the first two minutes of the fourth gave his team a seven point advantage. But a pretty alley-oop from Turner to McCaskill, that almost brought the rim down, set the tone for the rest of the game. A couple of defensive stops from Detroit Renaissance brought it back to a one possession game. As the teams continued to trade buckets, clutch free throws and rebounds by Detroit Renaissance’s senior guard, Cortez Garland kept his team in the ball game during the final minute. Like Garland, Flint Carman-Ainsworth’s M.Fletcher contributed with big free throws and big boards down the stretch, ultimately giving Flint Carman-Ainsworth the 61-57 win. Flint Carman-Ainsworth was led by their senior studs Lewis and Duncan. Ja’Kavien Lewis ended with 15 points(6-14) with 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. Omari Duncan finished with a loud 15 points(7-14) with 4 rebounds and 3 assists.