In the biggest Detroit Public School League game of the year, undefeated Detroit King and Cass Tech had a record-setting first half.
The record was for offensive futility.
King — the No. 1 Class A team in the state — was held to two points in the first quarter of tonight’s championship game at Detroit Mercy.
Cass Tech (16-1) was held to two points in the second quarter. King lead just 15-10 at halftime.
Luckily, LaQuita Hart stepped up for the Crusaders (17-0). The senior guard scored eight of her team’s 15 points in the first half and finished with 17 as King captured its second straight PSL title with a 45-38 victory.
“We didn’t play well at all,” said Crusaders coach William Winfield. “We’ve got to get back in the gym and do some work. If we don’t, we’re not going anywhere in the state tournament.”
King wore orange and black in honor of Eastern High, which was its original name until after the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. The name of the school and its colors were changed that September.
While Winfield had history on his side with what he said is now 21 PSL titles at King, Marissa Thrower is in her first year at Cass Tech.
“We couldn’t get in an offensive rhythm,” said Thrower. “King did an excellent job defensively. One thing I told everybody is we had a 16-0 record and our girls put it all out there. To play the No. 1 team as close as we did … I give all the credit to them.”
Lauren Elliott led Cass Tech with nine points.
King’s Antania Hayes, who was named Miss PSL, contributed 10 points and Marte’ Gray had 11.
“This is the first time winning Miss PSL and that’s great, but I wanted the league title,” Hayes said.
The Crusaders scored 17 points in the third quarter to take a 32-19 lead after three.
But they labored in the fourth with turnovers as theTechnicians rallied to within four, 34-30, by pressing the Lady Crusaders.
In the first quarter, Cass Tech used a pair of threes early to build a four-point lead as neither team shot well.
King was unable to penetrate the Cass Tech zone and committed seven turnovers in the first quarter and scored just one basket to fall behind 8-2.
When the deficit swelled to 10-2 in the second quarter, the Crusaders finally got some offense on a three-point play by Leah Mathis and a floater by Hayes to trim the deficit to 10-7.
Turnovers became Cass’ problem in the second quarter, and King scored 11 straight points to take the lead on a steal and layup by Hayes and a free throw by Hart.
“I came out and did a good job,” said Hart. “I’ve been slacking during the season. I wanted to show coach I could help us win.”
Contact Perry A. Farrell: 313-222-2555 or email@example.com.