A puzzled look swept over much of the crowd as the Yellow Jackets crossed half-court and were content to sit on the ball; passing only to beat the trap. Renaissance seemed to grow restless and Country Day took advantage as 6'2 junior guard Darnell Brown found 6'4 senior forward James Nelson for an easy lay-up.
Nelson led all scorers in the quarter with seven of his team's eleven points and 6'3 guard Stacy Waters paced Renaissance's scoring with four of their seven. The first quarter might have had a whistle and was finished almost eight minutes (of real time) after the tip…hurray for efficiency.
The second quarter started off with a slight pickup in pace as the Phoenix' 6'3 junior guard Paul Williams went to work scoring nine during a 15-2 run and Renaissance jumped ahead 22-13 before Country Day ended the second quarter with two field goals cutting the score, 22-17.
Opening the second half, Brown's scoring and playmaking lifted Country Day on a 12-5 run as they took over the lead. The Class B defending champs weren't ready to end their season to the team they have sent packing the previous four seasons and were able to sustain Country Day's run but, trailed after the third quarter, 40-36.
Both crowds were in a frenzy, as one of the top games in the state crept into the final period. Renaissance tied the score on buckets by 6'6 junior forward Ian Larkin and Waters. Country Day delivered the knock-out blows in the middle of the fourth quarter with a 12-2 run led by 6'4 senior forward Clayton Beard's six. The Yellow Jackets were able to close out the game from there despite late three point jumpers from 6' sophomore guard Delano Collins. Final score, 56-48 Country Day.
"In the beginning of the season, we made a commitment to play as a team and the kids have bought into the system," were post-game comments from Country Day Head Coach Kurt Keener.
Country Day was led by Brown's 18 points but, he also added 5 assists, 1 blocked shot, a steal, and only one turnover.
Nelson followed his scoring with 15 key points.
6'11 sophomore Deshonte' Riley was huge in the paint as his presence affected every Renaissance shot fifteen feet and in and sometimes out to the three-point line.
Renaissance found scoring from Waters with 15, Williams with 11, and Collins nine. Larkin grabbed eight boards while adding 6 points.
6'5 senior forward Toreau Brown lost his first high school playoff basketball game Wednesday evening. He has three state Championships, one with Renaissance and two with the now defunct Detroit Rogers.