Renaissance regroups against Pershing to win third PSL girls’ basketball title in a row; overtime thriller heightens anticipation for ‘Big D’ boys’ finale

The Detroit Public School League’s “Big D” boys’ basketball tournament championship will be decided Friday night at Cass Tech High School, 24 hours after Renaissance High won its third consecutive PSL girls’ crown with a scintillating 63-59 overtime victory against previously unbeaten Pershing.

As champions of the East and West Divisions, respectively, Southeastern and Cody both enter the 7:30 p.m. boys’ title game with 10-0 league and 16-2 overall records. On paper, at least, the teams couldn’t be more evenly matched.

But after the show the girls put on — with Caprice Dennis hitting a three-point bank shot at the buzzer to cap a furious Pershing rally and send the game into overtime — suffice it to say that Coach George Ward’s Jungaleers and Coach Bryant Tipton’s Comets have a tough act to follow.

High school basketball doesn’t get any better than the “Big D” girls’ tournament finale at Renaissance High, where Coach Diane Jones’ Lady Phoenix (15-3) built a huge first-half lead, saw it fritter away, and then regrouped to beat Coach Shawn Hill’s Doughgirls (16-1) in a rematch of last year’s PSL title game.

In the girls’ consolation game, King defeated Mumford 51-40. During halftime ceremonies, Renaissance High senior Asia Boyd accepted her award as Ms. PSL, while Nancy Jewett, a former coach, administrator and long-time league supporter, received the PSL Lifetime Achievement Award.

Friday night’s boys’ tournament finale at Cass Tech High will start with the 5 p.m. consolation game between King (13-5) and Ford (13-5). During halftime, Southeastern High senior Brandan Kearney will be honored as Mr. PSL, and Clarence Harris, a former official and coach who has served in many supporting capacities, will be honored with the PSL Lifetime Achievement Award. Admission is $10.

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