Even in modern times, it’s the old axioms in basketball that still ring true.
Just ask Detroit King senior Janae Williams.
“It’s always our defense that will bring us up, it makes us play better,” Williams said after the Crusaders buried Romulus, 49-35, in the Class A quarterfinal at Dearborn Fordson, helping King advance to Friday’s semifinals in East Lansing.
“Our offense — that’s just there. Our defense, we have to play that in order to win, and that’s what we’ll do next game and hopefully the game after that.”
After a slow start in which both teams seemed tight in a 5-5 first quarter scoring drought, King began making three-point shots — four in the second quarter alone — that hadn’t fallen before, to begin to pull away at halftime, 22-13.
“I think we came out with a little lazy attitude, and they jumped on us,” King coach William Winfield said of Romulus. “They started real well, got off to a good start and continued to play well. In the end, athleticism took over and so we were able to overcome, and play a better game.
“That team didn’t want to hang up their uniforms. They played hard tonight.”
The real turning point was the third quarter when King (24-1) began applying full-court pressure and in the first four minutes of the stanza built a 37-20 lead.
In the stretch of four minutes remaining in the second quarter through the first four minutes of the third quarter, King went on a 25-12 run.
“That’s our holding card,” Winfield said. “We like to apply the pressure and it helps at times. Sometimes it hurts, but most times it helps.”
Senior Jayla Nichols led the Eagles (19-6) with 11 points, while teammate Jeshani Shinn added two three-pointers.
Williams scored 13 points for King, and Micacla Kelly chipped in nine, on three triples.
“We have an all-around game,” Williams said. “Everyone on this team has a role and we played those roles tonight.”