In a rematch of last year’s title game, Renaissance High will attempt to extend its girls’ basketball reign to three years in a row Thursday at 7:30 p.m. when it tips off against Pershing High in the Detroit Public School League “Big D” girls’ basketball tournament finals at Renaissance High School.
Although the game will be played on the Lady Phoenix’s home floor, Coach Shawn Hill’s Doughgirls will be the official home team by virtue of defeating Renaissance in an early-season nonleague game.
“They’re a good team,” Renaissance Coach Diane Jones said of Pershing. “They’ve got guard power. They’re all shooting the three(-point shot) very well. They pressure real well. So we need to step our game up.”
Jones answered “Heck yes,” when asked if the nonleague loss to Pershing is extra motivation to win Thursday. “But we just want to have a good game with them, have everybody come out without injuries and may the best team win that night,” she said.
The Lady Phoenix, 10-0 in the West Division and 14-3 overall, have been the PSL’s best team the previous two years. But this season has belonged thus far to the Doughgirls, 10-0 in the East Division, 16-0 overall and currently ranked the No. 1 team in the state. Hill is anticipating their stiffest challenge of the season.
“That’s going to be a tough battle,” he said. “It’s like a ‘get-back’ for them because we beat them earlier. So, they have something to prove. But we lost to them last year in the championship, so it’s a ‘get-back’ for us. It’s going to be interesting.”
Pershing advanced to the finals with a hard-fought 52-47 victory against King, while Renaissance defeated Mumford 58-36.
Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. championship game will be preceded by the 5 p.m. third-place consolation game between King (13-5) and Mumford (13-4). Renaissance High senior Asia Boyd will be honored as Ms. PSL and long-time coach and administrator Nancy Jewett will receive the PSL Lifetime Achievement Award during halftime of the consolation game. Admission is $10.
In boys’ Big D semifinal action Tuesday at Cass Tech High, Southeastern defeated King 67-62 in overtime, while Cody downed Ford 66-57.
The PSL boys’ champion will be crowned Friday at Cass Technical High School. Southeastern and Cody, both 16-2 overall and 10-0 in the East and West Divisions, respectively, will square off at 7:30 p.m. The 5 p.m. consolation game will pair King (13-5) vs. Ford (13-5). During halftime of the consolation game, Southeastern High senior Brandan Kearney will be honored as Mr. PSL. Clarence Harris, a former coach, former official and long-time league supporter, will receive the PSL Lifetime Achievement Award. Admission is $10.
Both the PSL boys’ and girls’ championship and consolation games will be televised tape-delayed on the Michigan High School Athletic Association television network on Comcast Channel 900.
The MHSAA network will also be televising the Operation Friendship championships between the PSL and Detroit Catholic League champions. Here is the schedule for when the games will be shown on Comcast Channel 900:
Feb. 23 – girls championship, 7 p.m.; boys championship 9:30 p.m.
Feb. 24 – girls championship, 9 a.m.
Feb. 26 – girls consolation, 9 a.m.; boys consolation, noon; boys championship, 3 p.m.; girls Championship, 9:30 p.m.
Feb. 27 – boys championship, 7 p.m.
March 12 – girls consolation, 7 p.m.; boys consolation, 9:30 p.m.
March 13 – boys Operation Friendship, noon & 7 p.m.
March 14 – boys Operation Friendship, 9 a.m.