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Mumford wins rematch of last year's PSL championship, beating Renaissance in semis to get a chance to defend title vs. King

Mumford wins rematch of last year's PSL championship, beating Renaissance in semis to get a chance to defend title vs. King
BY: MATTHEW B. MOWERY Feb 11, 11:40pm

DETROIT — After last year’s emotional run to capture their first-ever Public School League championship, the goal for Detroit Mumford was just to get back to the title game, get a chance to defend the crown.

The Mustangs did just that, shutting down Detroit Renaissance in Monday’s semifinal game, a rematch of last year’s championship game, using a 55-38 win to secure a spot in Friday’s finals opposite Detroit King.

Mumford (14-3, 8-1 PSL West Town) will face King (14-1, 8-1 PSL Midtown) for the championship at 5 p.m. at Cass Tech.

“Just try to get back. Much different and harder defending a championship. When you’re hunting, you’ve kind of got the emotions,” Mumford coach Kareem Hogan said. “When you’re defending, everybody’s trying to get you, and you’re kind of like on the edge of your seat all the time. You’re getting everybody’s best shot. King, I’m pretty sure we’re going to get their absolute best shot come Friday night.”

Unlike last year’s PSL championship game, which went down to the wire, this year’s tournament meeting with the Phoenix (12-5, 8-1 PSL West Town) was not as close, as Mumford jumped out to a 10-2 lead, and held a double-digit advantage for most of the game.

It wasn’t even like the two regular-season meetings between the two squads.

The first time around, at Mumford, the Mustangs eked out a two-point win, 50-48.

In the rematch 19 days ago, on the same Renaissance floor they played on Monday, the Phoenix won by 24.

The difference?

“Defense. The second time we played them in the regular season, they scored 70 points, so we kind of set out to keep them under 50. But 35 … you can win a lot of ballgames holding people to 35, so the defense was tremendous. Tremendous,” Hogan said. “Just relentless, back-tipping, everybody helping each other, talking. Just a great defensive game.”

The Mustangs held Renaissance to single digits in each of the first three quarters, leading 14-8 after one quarter, 28-14, and 38-21 headed to the fourth.

“I think we just got outworked today, unfortunately,” Renaissance coach Kiwan Ward said. “I think the game this time is that we just couldn't make shots. We got to the rim, but we just couldn’t finish. It hurts.”

By an unofficial count, the Phoenix had 29 turnovers in the game, but still managed to get enough shots to make it a game. All contest long, they were waiting for that one little spurt that might get them on a roll … but it never arrived.

“Absolutely,” Ward said. “I think we played hard, it just didn't fall for us.”

The Mustangs paid particular defensive attention to Kailee Davis, holding her to 10 points — including a 3-pointer as the clock wound down to zeroes at the end — while Shannon Wheeler led Renaissance with 12 points. Nobody else had more than five.

“We tried to take their best player (Davis) away … and once we did that, we wanted to make the other girls beat us,” Hogan said. “They just … they couldn’t.”

Mumford had four players in double figures, led by 15 from Adoreya Williams, and 14 from Shanea Dinwiddie. Tiaira Earnest had 10, while Ajanee Horton scored 11 off the bench.

DETROIT KING 56, EAST ENGLISH VILLAGE 40

DETROIT — Detroit King pulled away in the second half to beat East English Village, 56-40, in the East Bracket semifinals of the Public School League’s Big ‘D’ Basketball tournament Monday.

The Crusaders (14-1, 8-1 PSL Midtown) advance to Friday’s championship game, where they’ll face Detroit Mumford (14-3, 8-1 PSL West Town), the reigning PSL champion.

King led East English Village (13-2, 9-0 PSL East Town) by just four at the half, 28-24, but outscored the Bulldogs 21-7 in the third quarter to put the game away.

Erica Martin (18 points) and Del’Janae Williams (16 points) combined for 11 of King’s 21 points in the third. Monica Williams added 10 points for the Crusaders.

Jayla Smith had 18 points to lead EEV.