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Trevion Williams powers Henry Ford Academy for Creative Studies to first district title, 41-32, over Northwestern

By: Tom Markowski, March 9, 2018, 8:54 pm

Detroit – Trevion Williams had already left his mark in his three seasons at Detroit Henry Ford Academy for Creative Studies, a charter school located in midtown.

Williams, a 6-8 center, is one of the state’s top players, has signed with Purdue and almost single-handedly placed his school on the state’s basketball map.

But something was missing: a title. HFA is in its eighth year of existence and the Mustangs, and Williams, have finally achieved that goal.

HFA trailed by as many as seven points, then 28-23 at the end of three quarters, before coming back to defeat Detroit Collegiate Prep at Northwestern, 41-32, in a Class B district final on Friday at Detroit Communication and Media Arts.

HFA (14-7) will play another charter school, Detroit Old Redford Academy (16-5), in a regional semifinal on Monday at Livonia Clarenceville at 6 p.m.

Old Redford upset Detroit Henry Ford, 54-48, in a district final at Detroit Mumford.

Northwestern (3-12), district champions the last three seasons, played with just seven players as six members of the team were ruled academically ineligible according to coach Matt Blount. But for more than half of the game the Colts controlled play and were the aggressors.

The Colts used a zone defense and bottled up Williams throughout much of the game with double and triple teams. Williams committed two fouls in the first six minutes that contributed to his team being in a bind. HFA led 9-5 when Williams left the game with 2:05 left in the first quarter and the Colts went on a 11-3 run to take a 16-12 lead with six minutes left in the half.

Williams didn’t score in the second quarter, missed the front end of a 1-and-1 situation three times and the Mustangs trailed 22-15 at halftime.

“No excuses,” HFA first-year coach Taurean Wilson said. “(Northwestern) played extremely well. They did a great job of double-teaming our great player. It took a while for our other players to get going. Once they did, they couldn’t stop them.”

Williams began to assert himself at the start of the second half as he scored his team’s first seven points and the Mustangs pulled to within 25-22 after a Williams’ put-back.

A 3-pointer by Erick Smith, Jr., increased Northwestern’s lead to 28-23 after 24 minutes.

Then the roof fell in on the outmanned Colts. A rare basket by Williams inside completed a 12-0 run and HFA led 35-28. What keyed the run was HFA’s perimeter game, which was non-existent in the first three quarters. Josh Wilson’s 3-pointer with 6:43 left was the Mustangs’ first 3-pointer after nine misses from long range. Ninety seconds later Jernale Barnett, the other senior in the starting lineup, made a 3-pointer and HFA had all the momentum.

“The big guy woke up,” Northwestern coach Matt Blount said of Williams. “We tried sending three guys at him, and it worked. But not only is he wide but he has these long arms.”

Northwestern seemed to run out of gas. The Colts were 1-of-13 from the field in the fourth and had trouble controlling HFA’s transition game.

Williams led HFA with 16 points, 28 rebounds, five blocks and three steals. Wilson had 14 points and Barnett added seven points and six rebounds.

For Northwestern Durran Gray had 11 points.

Northwestern held a 14-12 edge in rebounds at halftime. For the game, HFA had 43 rebounds to 29 for Northwestern.

“Those threes opened up (the inside) a little bit,” Wilson said. “They couldn’t double team. Other players other than Trevion came through. We got steals. We got run outs. Our seniors went away with a legacy now. This is our first (district title). It’s all about the players and the school.”