EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Detroit Consortium turned two painful losses into triumph.
The Cougars, who lost head coach Al Anderson to a heart attack last February before losing to Flint Beecher in the quarterfinals of last season's state championships, honored their former coach's legacy by winning a state title on Saturday at the Breslin Center.
Joshua Jackson scored 22 points to lead Detroit Consortium (25-2) past Pewamo-Westphalia, 61-44, in the Michigan High School Class C State Championship.
"It hurt really bad," Jackson, who also pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds to finish with a double-double, said. "We just wanted to sit and sob and cry about it but at the end of the day, we knew what he wanted was for us to win a state championship more than anything. So we knew that was something that we had to do."
And the Cougars did it.
After going into the locker room up just 27-25 Detroit Consortium outscored the Pirates 21-12 in the third quarter. Jackson, just a sophomore, was instrumental in the run coming out of the locker room after intermission, scoring seven points but also adding rebounds, assists and steals. The Cougars took a 48-37 advantage into the final quarter.
"We just said to cherish the moment," Cougars head coach Tobias Tuomi said about his halftime speech. "I told them I appreciated all of their work, that's it's a heck of an opportunity to be here and that we came here to win a state championship, and to do that we're going to have to do all of the little things that we talk about every day in practice. The things that have won us games all season."
P-W coach Luke Pohl compared Jackson to a young Magic Johnson.
"It remains to be seen if he will ever reach that status but he is really talented," Pohl said. "He might be the most talented person that our team has ever faced. He can see the court real well, he passes it well and he's a very humble kid."
Lane Simon led the way for the Pirates (23-3) finishing with a game-high 23 points and seven rebounds. Nick Spitzley added 10.
Detroit Consortium put three players in double figures — Rudy Smith and Ronald Booth each added 14 points apiece — and outrebounded Pewamo-Westphalia 35-20.