In Play with Tom Markowski

Renaissance defeats Cass Tech, 70-56, takes a big step toward clinching second place in the PSL West

Basketball   | Tom Markowski

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Detroit – The Detroit Public School League boys basketball playoffs have come down to league favorite and top-ranked Detroit Western against the field.

Those seeded in the opposite bracket know they have a better chance at survival.

Take Detroit Renaissance as an example. If the Phoenix defeat Detroit Pershing at home on Tuesday they will be seeded No. 2 in the PSL West Division 1 behind Western thereby placing Renaissance in the bracket opposite of Western.

Detroit Mumford lost to Detroit East English Village Prep, 75-63, on Tuesday opening the door for Renaissance.

The second and third place teams from the PSL West will be in the same bracket with the top seed from the East, likely East English. Western will have the Nos. 2 and 3 teams from the East in its bracket.

Renaissance (7-6, 4-4) trailed Detroit Cass Tech by 10 points in the first half on Friday before coming back to win, 70-56, in a PSL Division 1 game at Renaissance.

Renaissance scored the first 10 points of the second half, the last four by Richard Talley, to take a 39-36 lead.

Cass Tech (5-8, 4-4 PSL East Division 1) regained the lead, 43-42, with three minutes left in the third quarter but the Phoenix scored the last six points of the quarter to take the lead for good.

After losing four straight Renaissance has won its last three. Not coincidentally this modest streak started with Darryl Smith entering the lineup. A transfer from Detroit Community, Smith, the only senior in coach Vito Jordan’s rotation, had 16 points. Talley led Renaissance with 20 points, Justin Turner added 14 and Jalen Tobias had 10. Alaric Jackson, a 6-6, 285-pound junior, had nine rebounds and five points.

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh was in the stands getting a first-hand look at Jackson. Jackson played offensive tackle this past season for coach Tony Elliott and has been offered a scholarship by Kansas.

Rob Edwards scored 21 points and Lenard Silas had 14 for Cass Tech.

“Getting Smith back brings us experience,” Jordan said. “He played on that (Detroit) Community team that reached the (Class B 2013) finals. He gives us everything we need. Teams have been loading up on Justin. Now we have another option. Our point guard (Talley) turned the game around for us. He got some big rebounds (Talley had seven total) and some key baskets.”

Talley had nine points in the third quarter. After the Technicians had closed to within 53-49 on an Edwards 3-pointer, Smith and Talley made consecutive 3-pointers to push the lead to 10 with 4:08 to play.

“We’re coming alive at the right time,” Jordan said. “If we can get that win on Tuesday that means we can stay away from Western. It’s like its Western against six or seven of us.”

The league schedule ends Tuesday with the playoffs set to begin Feb. 6.