Doughboys Dominate And Win State

Jeffrey Cottrell

Class A Finals – Detroit Pershing 90 Kalamazoo Central 73

Undoubtedly, Detroit Pershing has taller players (Derrick Nix at 6’9” and Tevon Conrad at 6’8”) but Kalamazoo Central would have a higher average height.There was a LOT of people in attendance for the game.Kalamazoo brought more fans than Detroit and a lot more fans came to see the “big boys” play basketball.Juwan Howard Jr. didn’t play because he had an infection from a wound suffered while dunking.Derrick Nix got a technical foul in the first minute for hanging on the rim (after he missed a dunk).It was easy to see the difference between the skill levels of the players in the Class A final versus the other two games today.Detroit was up early, but Kzoo battled back.At the end of the first quarter, Pershing was up 21-16 behind a fantastic 10 points by Keith Appling.Kzoo came out ready for the second quarter and had a huge dunk by Doug Anderson that hyped up the crowd and followed it up with a three pointer by Juwan Hemphill which tied the game at 21.Hemphill picked up his second foul a minute later and went to the bench, but the Kzoo squad was hyped up and beginning to believe in themselves.After a Maroon Giant 10-0 run to start the second quarter, the Pershing Doughboys awoke and tied the game at 26.Appling was doing amazing things; he had 18 of the team’s 29 points through the first 14 minutes of play.Anderson had two more MONSTER dunks and the crowd went wild.Appling did his best to silence the crowd with dazzling moves and pure effort.He finished the first half with 23 of Pershing’s 34 first half points.The score at the half was 39-34 in favor of Kalamazoo Central.

Both teams came out after making their halftime adjustments.Pershing was playing very up and down; they would catch up, then play poorly and lose the lead.Kzoo wanted the game to be a track meet which would effectively take Derrick Nix out of his game.There was plenty of scoring through the first part of the third quarter with Pershing holding a 51-46 advantage.Both teams kept themselves in the game; Central by running and getting the ball to the hole quick and Pershing by letting Appling pretend to be Kobe and then create scoring opportunities for his teammates.One thing is for sure; the people who paid $10 to come to this game are DEFINITELY getting their money’s worth.These two teams put on a show.Less than one minute into the fourth, Derrick Nix picked up his fourth foul and had to sit down.He only had four points for the game due to the speed at which Kalamazoo Central runs the floor.In the fourth quarter, all of Kalamazoo’s first half fouls began to catch up with them.Leading 71-57 with 5:21 left, Pershing kept the pressure up and forced Kzoo to take shots that were less than ideal.Hemphill wasn’t about to let his team quit and forced himself into quality scoring positions.With 1:09 left in the game, Appling got his 49th point and broke the individual scoring record and was taken out of the game.When it was all said and done, Pershing won 90-73.

Pershing shot 47% from the floor for the game.Keith Appling set a finals record with 49 points and also came up with seven rebounds.Derrick Nix had four points and 13 rebounds.Kalamazoo Central shot 36% from the floor.Their leading scorer was Devin Oliver with 21 points, followed by Juwan Hemphill with 20.Both of them had nine rebounds.

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