Leave it to King High senior LaQuita Hart to come through in the clutch.
The Lady Crusaders’ 5-2 guard is normally more of a facilitator than a scorer but came through with a game-high 17 points in a 45-38 victory Feb. 15 against Cass Tech that lifted King to its second consecutive Detroit Public School League girls’ basketball crown.
“It was a great victory for us tonight,” said Hart, who was named the PSL Proud Strong Learner of the Week for her gut-check performance. “We came out struggling a little bit, but it felt good to come back like we did.”
A huge crowd at the University of Detroit-Mercy Calihan Hall saw King regroup after trailing the Technicians 8-2 at the end of the first quarter. Both teams entered the game with 16-0 records and, despite King’s No. 1 state-ranking, Cass Tech came out bent on pulling off the upset.
“They surprised us and that’s why we only had two points in the first quarter,” Hart said. “We had to realize they weren’t going to give us this game. We had to come out and take it.”
Hart left last year’s PSL championship game against Pershing on crutches. Her stellar performance led to King’s upset victory and also earned the Proud Strong Learner of the Week award. She views this year’s repeat league championship as a springboard toward a run to the Class A state championship.
“It’s very important that we stay unbeaten, but we can’t slack off,” she said. “Teams are out there to get us. We’ve got to keep working hard and getting better.”
Hart is focused on earning a college scholarship and plans to major in forensic science.
“I want to keep it going in college,” she said. “I’ve been talking with Bethune-Cookman and I’m trying to get there.
“I know I have a lot of work to do but I want to work for what I want. I plan to become a crime scene investigator. If I can go to the next level with basketball after college, I don’t mind. But I have my second option.”
The Detroit Public School League Proud Strong Learner of the Week award is representative of the league’s top boys and girls athletes. The award is presented by the DPS Office of Athletics and sponsored for the third year in a row by Detroit-area McDonald’s owner-operators