Detroit U-D Jesuit rolls past Dakota, advances to first Class A FinalBasketball  |
(PHOTO CREDIT: Dave Donoher)
East Lansing – The third time was the charm for Detroit U-D Jesuit.
After advancing to the Class A state semifinals without advancing to the championship game in the previous two years, U-D was a team on a mission when it returned to the Breslin Center for a third straight year on Friday afternoon.
U-D coach Pat Donnelly said that throughout the season his team has been focused on getting past the semifinal game and added that after his team’s quarterfinal win over Ypsilanti, he could tell the Cubs weren’t content with making another trip to the semifinals.
“We did discuss the last two years and the feeling that we had leaving here on Friday afternoon, we talked about that throughout the season,” he said. “That allowed us to win the quarterfinal and be very focused walking off the floor, understanding that these guys were about business.
“We weren’t hooting and hollering after the quarterfinal saying ‘Yeah, we’re going back to the Breslin.’ There was a laser focus by these guys and I appreciated that, it was very businesslike and I think you saw the result of that today.”
The Cubs jumped out to an early lead and never looked back on their way to picking up a 72-51 win over Macomb Dakota, as U-D advanced to the Class A Final for the first time in school history.
In the Class A Final, U-D Jesuit (27-0) will face North Farmington, who beat Lansing Everett in the second semifinal of the day.
Friday’s highly anticipated game between the No. 1 ranked team (U-D) and the No. 2 ranked team (Dakota) was never close as the top-ranked Cubs turned a 7-6 lead midway through the first quarter into a 25-9 advantage in the early stages of the second, behind an 18-3 run, led by nine points from Michigan State signee Cassius Winston.
Winston, who played on each of the previous two teams that saw their seasons end in the semifinals, said that to finally advance to the state finals is something that means a