It’s been a great year for Detroit Cody, as its football team made it to the Public School League Finals. It lost to Martin Luther King High, but it was the school’s first ever appearance.
Then the Cody boy’s basketball team found itself in the PSL Finals at Calihan Hall versus defending champion Pershing.
Determined to show they belong, and just maybe finish what the football team could not, the Comets jumped out to a 5-0 lead and appeared to be on their “A” game, but Pershing (17-2) unleaded its double “A” game, making nine first half three-pointers that thrust them to a 82-67 victory.
“Their three-point shooting and Keith (Appling),” Cody coach Bryant Tipton said. “You pay so much attention to Keith, then the other guys get open and knock down threes. The three-pointers really killed us tonight.”
It was not so much so that Cody (13-4) played bad; it was the fact the Doughboys are out to double, double. They got the first hurdle accomplished by disposing Cody, and now they will focus on defending their Class A Michigan State title.
“One title is good, but two is great,” Appling exclaimed. “We came into this season with the eye of the tiger. I know it will not be easy, we have put in the work and hopefully it will continue to pay off for us during the states.”
Concurred Juwan Howard, who had 18 rebounds: “It’s a great accomplishment. We’ll celebrate tonight and get ready for the states tomorrow. We do not look at winning the states or city, as if one is better than the other. All we do is worry about getting better every game and the rest will take care of itself.”
Said Pershing coach Arthur Canada: “Each time you are fortunate enough to win a title it is special. Each one is different. You have different kids, different scenarios and different opponents.”
Leading the way for Pershing were Howard and Appling as both scored 21 points. Appling had just produced a 40-point effort in the PSL semifinals but took only 13 shots in the PSL title game. He instead deferred to his teammates. He did not force any shots, deciding to roll with the hot hand of teammate Sherron Dorsey-Walker who dropped 14 points, all in the first half, including four three-pointers, as Pershing jumped to a commanding 42-30 lead.
As Cody got the game close at the start of the second half, closing to 42-36, Pershing stepped up the defensive pressure, contesting every shot and, in fact finishing with 11 block shots.
“We blew it in the first half,” said Richard Carter, who led Cody with 26. “We did not close out on their shooter and they started knocking down threes. No matter, we had a great season and we still have the states.”
This Pershing team is looking to make some serious history. Can they do it? Not even Spencer Haywood, Ralph Simpson, Bubbles Hawkins, Mel Daniels, Steve Smith, Kevin Willis or legendary coach Will Robinson were able to win back-to-back PSL titles. The last Pershing team to do it was the 1995 and 1996 squad.
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