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Detroit Cass Tech backs up No. 1 ranking, dominates Renaissance


Detroit — Steve Hall has something special going on at Detroit Cass Tech.

Cass Tech — 13-0 (4-0 PSL) and ranked No. 1 in The News Super 20 — showed why it is considered the best team in the state Tuesday night in running Detroit Renaissance out of the gym with a 112-83 victory before a packed house at Renaissance.

The teams traded leads six times in the opening quarter with Cass Tech taking a 25-23 lead after consecutive baskets by Cass Tech 6-foot-2 sophomore point guard Darius Acuff, the first coming on a driving layup and the next in transition.

Then, the domination began as Cass Tech used a 32-13 second quarter to take a commanding 57-36 halftime lead.

And, Cass Tech did the damage with second-chance opportunities and once again multiple transition baskets.

Senior guard Kenneth Robertson started the second-quarter run with consecutive inside baskets, then scored off a driving layup for a 46-29 lead and made a 3-pointer for a 20-point lead (55-35) and another driving layup soon after.

Ten different players scored in the first half for Cass Tech, which led by as many as 38 points (79-41).

“We try to wear people down with bodies and inevitably it usually kicks in at some point of time in the game, sometimes earlier than later and we just got a surge when we went to the bench,” Hall said of Cass Tech’s impressive second quarter.

“We had some energy and that’s what the whole plan was from the beginning. When we get after it and we’re energetic and we’re playing our defensive schemes the way we want to, often times it leads to offense.”

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Acuff finished with 28 points and capped off the rout with an alley-oop pass to set up Travon Cooper’s dunk with 40 seconds left.

“It was all about being prepared because we know everybody is going to give us their best shot because we’re No. 1,” Acuff said. “They had too many points in the first quarter, so we just had to turn it up, for sure. We played well defensively during that second quarter and he (Robertson) hit some shots. He always tells me to look for him and I always tell him that I got him. He’s a senior and this is his time for sure.”

Robertson finished with 20 points, 19 coming during the middle two quarters when Cass Tech outscored Renaissance (9-5, 1-1) by a 62-31 margin.

“We just had to come out during that second quarter and put some points on the board,” Robertson said. “We’re a transition team, so we had to look for our teammates up the court and that’s what we did. We also got a lot of boards (on offensive glass), practice it a lot.”

Renaissance started a pair of freshmen in 6-2 Jordan Sigmon and Marcellus Phelps, along with sophomore point guard Lance Stone.

Sigmon (eight) and Phelps (six) combined for 14 points in the opening quarter with Phelps knocking down a pair of 3-pointers and Sigmon one, but they couldn’t sustain their hot hand the rest of the half as Renaissance made just one basket in the second quarter, consistently missing deep shots, along with shots at the basket.

Sigmon finished with 19 points; Stone scored 24, including 14-of-17 free throws and Phelps, 14, including four 3s. Senior Jacob White had 18 points, 11 coming during the fourth quarter.

Cooper scored 15 for Cass Tech.

david.goricki@detroitnews.com