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D4 FINALS: Mr. Basketball finalist Pierre Brooks II leads Douglass past Tri-unity Christian, capturing first title

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, April 10, 2021, 12:38 pm

EAST LANSING — It was special for Pierre Brooks II to get a win on his future floor at Michigan State’s Breslin Center.

It was even more special for the senior to play his last game for his dad in the Division 4 state championship game, beating perennial power Wyoming Tri-unity Christian, 47-41, to claim the first state championship for Detroit Frederick Douglass Academy. 

While Tri-unity Christian had been to the finals eight times, winning four titles — the last in 2011 — it was the first title-game appearance for Douglass, which lost in the Class B quarters in 2010 and the semis in 2014. 

The Defenders (14-3) threw everything at Brooks II defensively, going man up on 6-foot-10 Javantae Randle and Damonn Tiggs, and doubling off everyone else to put every body they could on the future Spartan and Mr. Basketball finalist. 

Brooks II finished with a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds, adding five assists. Randle had 15 points and 10 boards.

The Hurricanes (17-5) had their own defensive worries, trying to guard Tri-unity’s Brady Titus, who finished with 21 points, five steals and six assists.

It was runs at the end of the second and third quarters that fueled Douglass to be able to build a lead on Tri-unity as high as 12 points in the early minutes of the fourth quarter. 

The Hurricanes got caught between trying to run down clock and go for the knockout blow, though, and Tri-unity capitalized, using a 13-4 run to cut the deficit all the way down to three points, 43-40, on Owen Rosendall’s 3-pointer with 1:03 left.

It came 46 seconds after one of the biggest defensive plays of the game, when Brooks II tracked down Tri-unity’s Brady Titus on a breakaway, blocking his shot to keep it a six-point game at the time. 

After the Defenders fouled enough to get into the bonus, the Hurricanes split twice at the line to pump the lead back up to five, 45-40. Titus hit one of three free throws to cut it back to four with 11 seconds left, then Randle closed it out with two free throws with nine seconds remaining.