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Renaissance finds patience, defeats Detroit CMA 39-31 to advance to PSL semifinals

Basketball   | Branden Hunter

Renaissance finds patience, defeats Detroit CMA 39-31 to advance to PSL semifinals

Detroit – Things didn't start or end right for Detroit Communication and Media Arts on Wednesday. First it showed up to the game in the wrong colored jerseys, and was assessed a technical foul then it just got worse.

CMA (13-4) dictated tempo but still fell to Detroit Renaissance, 39-31, in a Detroit Public School League quarterfinal at Renaissance.

The Pharaohs made the Phoenix play their game, holding them to under 40 points, but a late fourth quarter effort by Renaissance (10-6) was just enough to advance to the city semifinals where it will face Detroit East English Village Prep (13-3) in a semifinal on Friday at Detroit Cass Tech at 7 p.m. The first semifinal pits Detroit Western against Detroit Pershing at 5.

On Jan. 20 East English defeated Renaissance 70-68.

In the other quarterfinal at Renaissance East English defeated Detroit Henry Ford 72-65 in overtime.  

"CMA is going to make you play their way," Renaissance coach Venias Jordan said. "As much as you can try to simulate their offense in practice, it's impossible. It's like playing Oregon in football - there's no way to practice that.

"I even brought in five college players to try and simulate the flex offense, but they are so discipline and phenomenal at it. They beat good teams doing that."

Renaissance freshman Jalen Tobias only scored eight points but most of them came when it mattered. He scored six in the fourth helping spark a 14-5 run to open the quarter and the Phoenix led 35-31. Few plays are called that feature Tobias but he still finds a way to impact the game.

"Jalen is a phenomenal athlete, and may be the best athlete in the city," Jordan said. "He's out there on all athleticism right now, and hasn't even learn what he's doing. He just goes out there and tries to guard somebody, and grab some rebounds."

Tobias said CMA’s deliberate style is a test to teams not accustomed to playing that way.

"I was just trying to shake off the frustration of how they play," he said. "That was the best defense we've seen this season, but I'm not surprised by my performance. I'm just grateful for my team, for getting me into a good position to make something happen."

CMA had Renaissance where they wanted them, but may have been a victim of their own style of play.  The Pharaohs cut the lead to 33-31 with 1:11 left but ran off too much time on the clock trying to get a good shot.

Renaissance got a few key defensive stops and closed the game on a 4-0 run.

 Junior guard Justin Turner scored 11 points to lead Renaissance. Demonte Jones scored 10 points for CMA.

"We struggled this game and it kind of got ugly," Jordan said. "But we got a few defensive stops and we got bailed out a few times. The score was only in the thirties, so it wasn't any scoring out there."