Back-to-Back: Saginaw Thumps Pershing

Saginaw dominated Detroit Pershing 90-71 to win their second consecutive state championship at the Breslin Center Saturday.

EAST LANSING - If you ask Saginaw coach Lou Dawkins, he'll tell you his Trojans aren't just the best high school team in the state, evidenced by their dominating 90-71 win over Detroit Pershing -- they're the best anywhere.

"Oh yeah," he said when asked if Saginaw had the best team in the country after his team's second championship in two years. "We tried to get some of those teams that play on television to play us . . . we feel in our heart you can bring on anybody. We'll meet you in Russia, Japan or wherever."

One gigantic part of the team's success is 6-foot-6, 220-pound Draymond Green. The Michigan State commit capped off his torrid weekend with a 21-point, 19-rebound performance in the final game. Yesterday, he threw down 30 points against East Lansing.

"It's a great feeling, it's something that you dream of just to win one championship," Green said of Saginaw's back-to-back run, "but to win two is unbelievable."

Saginaw jumped out to a 22-12 lead after the first period and never looked back. Mike Green was their leading scorer with 29 points for the game.

Down 51-33 at the half, Pershing attempted to pick up the pace in the second half, but turnovers and soft perimeter defense never allowed them to pull within even 10 points. Demetrius Ward paced the Doughboys with 23 points and Keith Appling added 17.

Pershing's big body in the middle, Derrick Nix, scored 12 and pulled down 10 rebounds, but had all he could handle guarding Draymond Green. The big men battled for position in the post throughout the first half, and Green demonstrated his superior strength and quickness. Like in his semi-final game, Nix sat for significant stretches, but it made no difference who guarded Green.

And it wasn't just a superior interior presence that gave Saginaw an edge: they shot 12-31 from 3-point land, compared to Pershing's 6-20.

"They just came out and hit shots, we didn't," Pershing coach A.W. Canada said. "(They) came out hungry in the beginning, we didn't . . . they had those things going and we had a lack of."

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