Turner, Smith team for 33 points to lead Renaissance past Pershing, 70-55
Detroit – Earlier in the week, Detroit Renaissance coach Venias Jordan said his team’s game against Detroit Pershing was a must-win game heading into the Detroit Public School League playoffs on Friday. He said his team had to prove that they could actually beat someone good in the league.
Well they did. Renaissance cruised past the Doughboys, 70-55, in a Division 1 game at Renaissance on Wednesday.
Renaissance (8-6, 5-4) will receive a first-round bye and its quarterfinal opponent will be determined after Friday’s first round.
"I think we played good today," Jordan said. "We needed this win period. They sped us up more than I like too, but we held them to 55 points. That’s good to hold Pershing to 55."
Renaissance jumped out to a 13-2 lead to start the game and never trailed. Detroit Community transfer Darryl Smith had eight of his 16 points in the quarter. His scoring, particularly from the 3-point range was vital for the Phoenix. This helped take some pressure off of junior Justin Turner.
"We haven’t lost since he’s been here," said Jordan. "He gives me a third ball handler, and another player that can give me 15 points consistently."
Renaissance is 4-0 with Smith in the lineup.
Renaissance led by as much as 19 late in the third, relaxed a bit, allowing Pershing to close the gap in the fourth. A 12-2 run by Pershing (8-7, 6-3) to open the fourth quarter, capped off by a 3-pointer and a foul by Marquel Ingram, made it 53-45 with 5:25 left. But Renaissance would regroup. The Phoenix went on a 7-0 run to push the lead back up to 15 on a fast break lay-up by Turner.
Ingram led Pershing with 20 points.
"Coach just told us to stay poised, and not to bail them out by shooting king threes," Turner said. "We just had to finish our easy baskets, and make smart plays.
"The win was a big win for us, and made our roll a little smoother in the playoffs. I think we start our first round with King, who we lost by 20 to, so we have to come back strong. I think we have a great chance to get to Calihan Hall (for the PSL title game)."
Renaissance hit a rough patch earlier in the season, losing five in a row, but has won four straight since and are headed in the right direction. If the Phoenix want to make any noise in the city playoffs, Turner is going to have to be the best player on the floor like he was tonight. Turner had 17 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists. He and everyone else knows he’s capable of it, too.
"He’s a good player. No, he’s a really good player," Jordan laughed. "He didn’t shoot the ball well tonight, but he did a lot of other good things. We are going to need 25-9-9 if we want to get where we want to go.
"I told him that if you think you are as good as what you think you are, or what people say you are, then we need to be winning these games. If we want to be a top team in the state, we have to start winning."