State Championships

1970 Pershing State Champions

Pershing Coach Will Robinson helps hoist the second of his two state championship trophies with player Phil Paige following the Doughboys’ 86-81 victory over the Campy Russell-led Pontiac Central Chiefs in the 1970 Class A state finals. It was Robinson’s final game as a high school coach. He made history the next season when he was the first black head coach in NCAA Division I basketball at Illinois State University. (UPI Photo courtesy the MHSAA)

For years the Detroit PSL has been a major player in the Michigan boys’ basketball state championship. Even predating the actual tournament, Detroit teams claimed state bragging rights six times. Since the inception of the statewide tournament in 1917 the PSL — formerly the Metropolitan League — has had at least one representative in the state’s highest classification title game on 39 occasions and in five of those the state final was an all-PSL affair.

Keep in mind as well that the PSL had a self-imposed exile from the state tournament from 1931-1961. That is, teams from the city league did NOT participate in the state tournament; opting instead to limit its teams participation to regular season, league playoff, and Public-Parochial/City Championship competition.  For six season, when local pressure to re-enter the state tournament was reaching a fever-pitch, the Detroit PSL conducted its own post-season tournament that FOLLOWED the standard league playoff we know today and the City Championship/Operation Friendship.  In other words, during these six years, it was possible for a team to be crowned champion of its division, league, city, and League Tournament.  (This history of this League Tournament will pe posted in the future, like so many other items.)

Below you will find the chronological listing of every Class A (or equivalent) state championship result for the years PSL schools participated. Follow this link to see non-Class A PSL state finalists. (Thanks to Michigan prep sports historian Ron Pesch for his many contributions.)

(FYI: From at least 1907 through 1916, prior to a state tournament, the following schools “claimed” state championships.  These “claims” were based on various factors including overall record, head-to-head regular-season matchups, and comparisons of outcomes versus common opponents.)

1907
Central and Jackson

1908
Eastern
, Adrian, and Delray (Now a part Southwest Detroit.)

1909
Central

1910
Eastern
and Kalamazoo

1911
Still Researching

1912
Central
, Jackson, and Adrian

1913
Still Researching

1914
Still Researching

1915
Jackson

1916
Central
, Ann Arbor, Marquette, Cheboygan, and Jackson.

State Tournament Begins in 1917

1917
Northwestern
beat Jackson, 24-21 (Northwestern Coach Bert Maris)

1918
Kalamazoo Central beat Central, 26-18 (Central Coach Harry Brown)

1919
Holland beat Northwestern, 14-13 (Northwestern Coach Bert Maris)

1920
Northwestern
beat Northern, 17-13 (Northwestern Coach Bert Maris; Northern Coach Still Researching)

1921
Grand Rapids Union beat Northern, 29-15 (Northern Coach Still Researching)

1922
Grand Rapids Union beat Kalamazoo Central, 27-9

1923
Muskegon beat Northwestern, 36-24 (Northwestern Coach Still Researching)

1924
Jackson beat Southeastern, 17-11 (Southeastern Coach Still Researching)

1925
Southeastern
beat Jackson, 44-22 (Southeastern Coach Walter Draper)

1926
Southeastern
beat Muskegon, 26-20 (Southeastern Coach Walt Draper)

1927
Muskegon beat Battle Creek Central, 32-24

1928
Northwestern
beat Jackson, 14-10 (Northwestern Coach Art Carty)

1929
Jackson beat Highland Park, 29-15 (Highland Park Coach Still Researching)

1930
Northern
beat Kalamazoo Central, 16-14 (Northern Coach Eddie Powers)

1931-1961
The PSL voluntarily exiled itself from the state tournament.

1962
Saginaw beat Benton Harbor, 69-58

1963
Ferndale beat Adrian, 76-58

1964
Benton Harbor beat Northern, 78-73 (Northern Coach Eddie Powers)

1965
Benton Harbor beat Southfield, 94-68

1966
Ferndale beat Ann Arbor, 65-60 (OT)

1967
Will RobinsonPershing
beat Flint Central, 90-66 (Pershing Coach Will Robinson)

1968
Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills beat Ypsilanti Central, 76-68

1969
Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills beat Ypsilanti Central, 67-64

1970
Pershing
beat Pontiac Central, 86-81 (Pershing Coach Will Robinson)

1971
Flint Northern beat Kettering, 79-78 (Kettering Coach Charles Nichols)

1972
Flint Northern beat Pontiac Central, 74-71

1973
Southwestern
beat Saginaw, 66-60 (Southwestern Coach Bob Whitehouse)

1974
Birmingham Brother Rice beat Cass Tech, 60-56 (OT) (Cass Tech Coach James Spivey)

1975
Highland Park beat Flint Northwestern, 85-76

1976
Detroit Catholic Central beat Saginaw, 59-57

1977
Lansing Everett beat Birmingham Brother Rice, 62-56 (OT)

1978
Flint Northern beat Pontiac Central, 67-56

1979
Mackenzie
beat Pontiac Central , 72-64 (Mackenzie Coach Elbert Richmond)

1980
Lansing Eastern beat Highland Park, 64-53

1981
Flint Central beat Murray-Wright, 108-90 (Murray-Wright Coach George “Baby” Duncan)

1982
Flint Central beat Southwestern, 79-60 (Southwestern Coach Perry Watson)

1983
Flint Central beat Southwestern, 84-80 (Southwestern Coach Perry Watson)

1984
Flint Northwestern beat Southwestern, 64-43 (Southwestern Coach Perry Watson)

1985
Flint Northwestern beat Southwestern, 69-55 (Southwestern Coach Perry Watson)

1986
Romulus beat Southwestern, 72-65 (Southwestern Coach Perry Watson)

1987
Ben KelsoCooley
beat Southwestern, 82-77 (OT) (Cooley Coach Ben Kelso; Southwestern Coach Perry Watson)

1988
Cooley beat Flint Northwestern, 66-55 (Cooley Coach Ben Kelso)

1989
Cooley
beat Southwestern, 85-73 (Cooley Coach Ben Kelso; Southwestern Coach Perry Watson)

1990
Southwestern beat Saginaw, 67-54 (Southwestern Coach Perry Watson)

1991
Perry WatsonSouthwestern beat Northern, 77-63 (Southwestern Coach Perry Watson; Northern Coach Harry Hairston)

1992
Pershing beat Benton Harbor, 74-42 (Pershing Coach Johnny Goston)

1993
Pershing beat Benton Harbor, 76-64 (Pershing Coach Johnny Goston)

1994
Murray-Wright beat Pershing, 80-73 (Murray-Wright Coach George “Baby” Duncan; Pershing Coach Johnny Goston)

1995
Flint Northern beat Pershing, 86-64 (Pershing Coach Johnny Goston)

1996
Saginaw beat Southfield Lathrup, 67-60

1997
Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills beat Redford, 68-51 (Redford Coach Derrick McDowell)

1998
Oronde TaliaferroCentral beat Belleville, 63-47 (Central Coach Oronde Taliaferro)

1999
Ann Arbor Pioneer beat Saginaw Arthur Hill, 54-47

2000
Lansing Waverly beat Pershing, 75-63 (Pershing Coach Arnold Nevels)

2001
Pontiac Northern beat Kalamazoo Central, 87-71

2002
Derrick McDowellPontiac Northern beat Redford, 66-58 (Redford Coach Derrick McDowell)

 

 

2003
Rockford beat Flint Carmen-Ainsworth, 41-38

2004
Lansing Everett beat Flint Carman-Ainsworth, 60-51

2005
Holt beat Romulus, 65-62

2006
Saginaw Arthur Hill beat Okemos, 85-84 (2OT)

2007
Ken FlowersSaginaw beat Redford, 79-57 (Redford Coach Ken Flowers)

 

2008
Saginaw beat Pershing, 90-71 (Pershing Coach A.W. Canada)

2009
Pershing beat Kalamazoo Central, 80-73 (Pershing Coach A.W. Canada)

2010
Kalamazoo Central beat Ann Arbor Huron, 74-65

2011
Kalamazoo Central beat Southeastern, 46-42 (Southeastern Coach George Ward)

2012
Saginaw beat Rockford, 54-42

2013
Romulus beat Southeastern, 61-49 (Southeastern Coach George Ward)

2014
Muskegon beat Bloomfield Hills, 91-67

2015
Western beat Saginaw Arthur Hill, 62-59 (Western Coach Derrick McDowell)

2016
U of D Jesuit beat North Farmington, 69-49

 

 

 

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