Cass Tech defeats Southeastern in final seconds, will face Pershing for the PSL Basketball Title
DETROIT – It’s only mid-February but it felt like March Madness at Detroit Cass Tech Tuesday night. In a game that played out like an NCAA tournament game, Cass Tech fans stormed the court to celebrate the last second putback by senior Kyle Stewart that gave Cass Tech a 61-60 victory over Detroit Southeastern and a spot in the PSL championship game.
Southeastern led throughout much of the 1st half but Cass Tech fought back, with Southeastern taking a 27-26 lead into halftime. They jumped off to a 17-11 lead after one quarter, including 7 points from junior Daryl Bingham who finished with 15 points an 6 rebounds. The Jungaleers eventually pushed their lead to ten, at 24-14 on a Jovone Haynes basket with 3:22 left before the half. But Cass Tech closed the quarter on a 10-3 run, with seven of those points coming from senior guard Deandre Johnson.
Cass Tech took their first lead of the game at the 5:17 mark in the 3rd when Deangelo Stewart hit two of his 9 points. Stewart would hit a buzzer beater of his own at the end of the 3rd to give Cass the 45-38 lead. And while Southeastern was down by as much as nine, 51-42 with 6:48 remaining, they simply refused to go away. They battled all the way back to pull within three, 57-54 following Jovone Haynes huge 3-pointer with 4:00 to go.
With under one minute remaining, and trailing 59-58, Southeastern tried to foul Deandre Johnson, and succeeded, but the whistle wasn’t blown. Johnson subsequently turned the ball over and gave Southeastern a shot at the title spot. In a hectic scramble for the ball off a missed shot attempt, Bingham grabbed the rebound and put it back in with :11 seconds left for the 60-59 lead. Cass Tech’s Deandre Johnson then raced down the court to get a shot up or find an open teammate. Deangelo Stewart grabbed the pass but missed his shot attempt, and another attempt by Cass Tech was also missed. But on a third attempt Kyle Steward converted his put-back as the horn sounded for the 61-60 victory.
Cass Tech players and students stormed the court.
"I looked to the bench to see if it was good, and they went crazy, so I ran over there and thats when my teammates tackled me", said Steward. "I had confidence in Deandre Johnson to go and finish or to whoever he passed it to".
Steward finished with 9 points, 7 rebounds and Deandre Johnson added 19 points for Cass Tech. Jovone Haynes led all scorers with 24 points. Cass Tech will play Pershing next in the PSL basketball championship game Friday at UofD Mercy’s Calihan Hall. Pershing defeated Frederick Douglass 50-40 in the second semifinal. The Doughboys used a late 4th quarter run after a slow start to move on to the title game. Martez Walker led Pershing with 21 points, 11 rebounds.