U-D remains patient, gets past Renaissance, 59-50
Southfield – Coach Vito Jordan is certain he had the right game plan to stop Cassius Winston and top-ranked U-D Jesuit. He just lacked the fire power.
Detroit Renaissance (17-5) slowed the game down to a crawl in the first half and held Winston to six points.
The bad news for Jordan was his team managed just three more in the first 16 minutes. The Phoenix made just four field goals in the first half and trailed 22-9. Six times U-D increased its lead to 17 in the second half and won rather convincingly, 59-50, in the Class A district final before a standing-room-only crowd at Southfield High on Friday.
U-D (23-0) advances to the region at Detroit Cass Tech on Monday and will play Livonia Churchill (15-8) at 5 p.m.
“When you aren’t efficient scoring, you have to take care of the ball,” Jordan said. “We had four turnovers in the first half in transition. And they were getting dunks. We had trouble scoring and they didn’t score early on either.”
Both teams picked up the scoring pace in the second half. First it was the Cubs.
Greg Eboigbodin, a 6-9 junior, dunked to start an 11-5 run and Julian Dozier’s 3-pointer ended it giving U-D a 33-16 lead with 2:52 left in the third.
U-D’s other 6-9 junior, Ike Eke, had three dunks in the first 1:25 of the fourth and the Cubs led 41-24.
The teams traded baskets for much of the fourth and if it wasn’t for Renaissance senior Richard Talley the game would have gotten out of hand.
Talley, who’s listed generously at 5-10, scored 20 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter on a variety of shots. He was 8-of-10 from the free throw line and had one 3-pointer in the quarter.
“He’s quick,” Winston said. “He can shoot. He’s what we expected.”
Justin Turner, Renaissance’s leading scorer, was held to five points.
Winston, the leading candidate for Mr. Basketball had 19 points, six rebounds, four steals and six assists. He was 6-of-13 from the field and made all six of his free throw attempts.
Elijah Collins added 11 points for the Cubs, Eke had 10 and Eboigbodin had seven points and eight rebounds.
U-D had just eight turnovers, five in the third quarter. Renaissance had 12 turnovers.
U-D coach Pat Donnelly doesn’t expect many more games like this in the tournament. He said Renaissance’s style, and some poor decisions by some of his players, especially in the third quarter, were part of the recipe for a ragged game.
“Both teams are good defensively,” he said. “Renaissance plays a deliberate style. It’s a slow-down pace. It made for an ugly game. There were times in the second half we were sloppy.
“I told Cassius at halftime, instead of shooting a 25-footer, go to the basket.
“We knew what they were going to do defensively. We got a little out of control dribbling through their defense. We are entitled to a poor game offensively. We are not entitled to a poor game defensively. I love that first half. We allowed them to get to the basket off the dribble in the second. We were a little complacent. Overall they’re very focused on reaching their goal.”