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BOYS BASKETBALL: Cass Tech ends three game losing skid, with a 59-55 win over M.L. King

By: Branden Hunter, February 2, 2014, 1:35 am

DETROIT – The Lady Crusaders of Detroit King defeated the Lady Technicians of Detroit Cass Tech earlier in the season and King’s boys and girls junior varsity teams did the same.

The boys squad came close to completing the season sweep, but fell short to Cass Tech, 59-55. The Technicians ended their three game losing streak, while ending King’s three game winning streak in the process.

"This was a great win for us," senior Mike Laster said. "It was the momentum boost we needed as the playoffs get closer."

Cass Tech (9-4) led by as much as ten in the fourth, but the game was much closer than that. King lead throughout much of the first half and looked like it would pull this one out.

Junior KeShaun Martin had good game scoring the ball, with 15 points. His and one play with 2:26 left in the half gave King a 25-21 lead.

"I was just trying to be more aggressive than I usually am," he said. "I knew I had to step up today and bring my "A" game."

The game was tied at 26-26 with 1:09 left before halftime, when Martin and Sharif Black traded consecutive baskets in a matter of seconds, to go into the half tied at 30-30.

King (8-7) game out the locker room strong, just as it did in the first half and before you knew it, held a 42-37 lead. But once again Cass Tech made another last minute 6-1 run, capped off by a buzzer beating 3-pointer by Rob Edwards (7 points) to take a 43-42 lead into the fourth.

"King was tough, no doubt," Laster said. "But we had a lot of fire behind us, so we had to show them today that we were tougher and we wanted to win more."

Cass Tech certainly did want it more and buried King early in the fourth. The Technicians went on a 16-1 run, that started in the third. Baskets by freshman Donnie Tillman and Charles Key made it 47-42 Cass Tech with 6:41 left, as they began to pull away.

Kenny Carpenters lay-up pushed Cass Tech lead to 53-43, as King had completely fallen apart.

"Our defense just broke down at that moment in the game," said Martin. "We weren’t getting back and it just went downhill."

A Tyrone Acuff bucket got King’s deficit down to five, at 55-50 with 2:28 left in the game. But Key countered that with a score of his own, pushing the lead back to seven.

With time not on their side, King would eventually run out of time, as Cass Tech converted free throws down the stretch, to hold them off.

Black paced Cass Tech with 16 points and Laster finished with a double-double, with 12 points, 10 rebounds. Armani Lee led all scorers with 18 points, while Dayvon Austin chipped in 14 points and eight boards.

"It’s pretty tough, losing and especially to Cass," Martin said. "We just hate that school so much, so we took it hard, but we will see them again hopefully."