PSL Finals

The high school version of clash of the Titans was everything it was cracked up to be. The court was full of division 1 talent, and they didn't disappoint. In the end, the Renaissance Phoenix came out on top 54-52.<br><br> The infamous "DOTMAN" pinch-hit for me last night by going out to report on the championship game. My fellow Flint Central alum provided spectacular details that really told the story of the game.

(Here's a link to the PSL semi-finals story for those who missed it: PSL Semi-Finals).

The big game atmosphere was immediately evident, illustrated by the referee having to separate future Michigan teammates Dion Harris and Joe Crawford as they jostled for position before the opening tip. In subsequent action, Dion Harris came out of the blocks very quickly. He paced the Redford Huskies early with 9 first quarter points. He was perfect from the field, going 1 for 1 from behind the arc and 2 for 2 from two-point range. One of his scores came on a back door play where he exploded to the basket for a dunk. Malik Hairston kept pace with Harris, netting 8 first quarter points to give the Phoenix a 15-12 lead at the end of one.

Malik Hairston

In the second quarter, Coach Mark White had his team turn up the defensive intensity on Harris. Dion had to work hard just to get the ball, (let alone score), as Phoenix players Ronnie Phillips and Adam Sabree shadowed his every move. Do to the pressure, Dion scored only one point in the entire quarter. On the other side, Joe Crawford began to really assert himself. He made the strong muscle moves to the lane that we've become accustomed to seeing. His strong play got him 6 points and two rebounds in the stanza, while Malik added 3 points. Renaissance went into the lockerroom with a 28-23 lead. During the intermission, the sentiment that Dion Harris was the best player in Detroit was confirmed when he received PSL Player of the year honors.

Joe Crawford

The third quarter saw Redford pull even with Renaissance 37-37. Dion was again bottled up, netting all 4 third quarter points from the free throw line. Hairston and Crawford were relatively quiet in the period as well, scoring two apiece. The last quarter, however, is where most of the second half action took place!

The first half of the 4th period saw a lot of lead changes, but by the 4:50 mark they were all tied up with 41 apiece. The Phoenix took the lead once again, but Dion turned in a nice double-pump reverse, (where he glided from one side of the basket to the other and converted), to tie the game at 46 with 3:10 left to go. Mr. Harris continued his fourth quarter onslaught with a plethora of nice dimes (assists). The best pass, however, didn't result in points. Dion delivered a perfect pass to one of his teammates for a sure dunk/lay-up, but Malik Hairston came over and absolutely destroyed it with a block.

Dion Harris

Dion had nine points in the 4th quarter, but Redford was still down 53-49 with 14.9 seconds left. Freshman guard Derrick Reynolds then came off the bench and hit a HUGE 3-pointer with 7 seconds left. There was a small bit a controversy at that point as the clock kept running from 7 seconds, when the shot was made, to 3.4 seconds. No time, however, was put back on. Joe Crawford was then fouled when time resumed at 2.2 seconds. He hit the back end of a double bonus to put Renaissance up 54-52. The Huskies tried one more desperation play, but to no avail… the Phoenix were the 2003 PSL champs!

Dion Harris finished with 23 points and 6 rebounds for the Huskies. Joe Crawford had Malik Hairston had good games as well with 13 points and 3 boards, and 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks respectively.

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