Candice Tate scores 15, leads Cass Tech past Mumford, 47-41, to advance to PSL final
Detroit – Detroit Cass Tech beat Detroit Mumford by 10 points three weeks ago, so the Technicians expected the Lady Mustangs to compete, and seek revenge in the city semifinals.
Mumford kept it close throughout but Cass Tech proved to be too much once again. Cass Tech defeated Mumford, 47-41, in a Detroit Public School League girls semifinal on Monday at Detroit Western.
Cass Tech will play Detroit King for the league title for the third consecutive season. The championship game is Feb. 20 at Calihan Hall at 5 p.m.
King, which has won three consecutive PSL titles, defeated Renaissance 66-44 in the other semifinal.
"Of course I’m glad we have the opportunity to get back to Calihan Hall, but we want to walk away winners this time," Cass Tech coach Marissa Fisher said. "We knew Mumford would be a tough opponent, having played them earlier in the year, and they gave us the game we expected. But I’m happy to be the one moving on."
Mumford played Cass Tech tough until the final buzzer, keeping the game within reach. The Mustangs cut the lead to 35-31 with just over three minutes remaining but senior Candice Tate responded immediately with one of her three 3-pointers to push the lead back to eight. Tate came up big in the Lady Technicians win, with fellow seniors Taylor Parker and K’Lynn Willis getting off to slow starts, by leading her team in scoring with 15 points.
"Candice was good tonight," said Fisher. "She came through in the clutch with that 3-pointer near the end to help her team. Taylor and K’Lynn weren’t the hot hand, so she stepped up big for her team."
"I kept my head in the game, and put the team on my back," said Tate. "They were looking for me to shoot the ball, I found my shot, and that’s what I did."
Cass Tech came out a bit sluggish in the first three quarters, uncharacteristically turning the ball over and allowing Mumford to build confidence. The Mustangs actually led after one quarter but couldn’t get over the hump. Senior guard DeAsia Young did all she could to win, scoring 13 points, but Cass Tech was able to respond with a basket every time Mumford threatened.
"Mumford came out a bit tougher than us tonight," said Fisher. "My team had their opportunity to build a lead, but Mumford fought hard. We couldn’t stop (Young), she was patient, but that was a good win for us."
King defeated Cass Tech in the final each of the past two seasons and Fisher said she told her team to not look past Mumford. And now that they are back in the title game, she wants to bring title home.
"We know that we have a tough opponent ahead of us, so we just have to take as much away from this game as we can," Fisher said. "We are going to focus on what he did wrong, and watch film. We missed a lot of lay-up abs turned the ball over, so we have to fix before next week."