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Lundy's late 3-pointer leads Romulus past U-D Jesuit in Class A quarterfinal

BasketballCheerleading   | Jeff Dullack

Lundy's late 3-pointer leads Romulus past U-D Jesuit in Class A quarterfinal

(PHOTO CREDIT - Dave Donoher)

Detroit – During a timeout with 13 seconds left to play in Tuesday’s Class A quarterfinal, Romulus’ Jaren English was told to make a play, with his team locked in a 63-63 tie with defending Class A state champion, Detroit U-D Jesuit.

And that’s exactly what the 6-4 senior did in the closing seconds.

English drove to the basket and found teammate D.J. Lundy in the corner as the junior buried a 3-pointer with just 2.8 seconds remaining to give Romulus a 66-63 upset win over Detroit U-D Jesuit.

With the win, the Eagles advance to the Class A semifinals for the first time since 2013, when Romulus won the Class A state title. The Eagles will face the winner of the Grand Rapids Christian-Kalamazoo Central Quarterfinal game on Friday at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.

“I told D.J. to stay right there,” English said. “He told me I’m going to be there and I’m going to hit it too. I just gave it to him and I knew he was going to hit it.”

Lundy said that after he heard his coach tell English to make a play, he simply told English where he was going to be.

“Coach told him to make a play and I told him I was going to be wide open in the corner, go ahead and hit me,” he said. “I’m thinking the whole time, I just got to hit it.

“It feels great. I can’t even explain it, it’s crazy. I’ve never done anything like this in my life.”

After Romulus led by as many as 11 in the third quarter, U-D would cut the deficit down to just five entering the fourth quarter after finishing the third on an 8-2 run.

The fourth quarter would see nine lead changes as U-D would hold a narrow 61-59 lead with under 2:30 left to play following an Elijah Collins basket and a free throw for the Cubs.

“We’ve just got to get stops,” Lundy said of his team’s mentality in the fourth quarter. “We had to keep balling and keep getting stops and play as a team. Keep getting in the gaps and get it to the open shooter to knock down shots.”

Romulus would then tie the game and take the lead with less than a minute left to play after baskets from Lundy and Muhamad Cecei made it 63-61.

U-D Jesuit would tie the game up at 63-63 with 39 seconds left to play on an Ike Eke putback, but Romulus would hold onto the ball until Lunday’s 3-pointer with less than three seconds left to play gave the Eagles a 66-63 lead and a half court shot for U-D Jesuit would go wide at the buzzer.

Lundy scored a game-high 18 points, while English finished with a team-high 14 points to lead Romulus (21-4). Dylan Price also contributed 13 points in the win.

Romulus coach Jerrett Smith said that after losing in the districts a season ago, his team came back motivated for a run this season as the Eagles have now punched their ticket to the Class A semifinals.

“These kids really worked for it,” he said. “We didn’t win this today, we won this a year ago when we got knocked out by Belleville in the district. That’s when we won this, guys getting in the gym. We expect to win, everyone’s had us under the radar and that’s okay, keep us under the radar. But guys look at that stuff, they took that to heart and that’s what it’s about, these guys work hard. They’re good kids.”

U-D Jesuit (20-4) was led by a game-high 19 points from Julian Dozier, while Greg Eboigbodin contributed 17 in the loss for the Cubs.