IMLAY CITY — They are the hottest ticket in town since The Jackson 5.
The New Haven boys basketball team has been like a traveling roadshow for years. Whenever and wherever they play, the Rockets are certain to draw a crowd.
On Tuesday, that crowd descended upon Imlay City High School and showed up in time to witness the Rockets dispose of Goodrich, 78-45, in a Division 2 regional semifinal.
New Haven (23-1) advances to play Pontiac (22-2) in the regional final at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Pontiac defeated Croswell-Lexington, 65-41.
"I tell my kids the game is about runs and how we can limit teams' runs," New Haven coach Tedaro France II said. "If a team goes on a 6-0 run, we have to make a play and get to the foul line, or get a stop or call a set play and get a good look.
"We have done a great job of stopping runs and going on runs. From film study and practice time, they continue to learn the game."
The Rockets outpaced Goodrich (18-6) in a similar manner to how they have dominated teams throughout the season. New Haven attacked the basket on offense and swarmed Goodrich on defense, never allowing it to find a comfort zone.
New Haven senior standout Romeo Weems recorded yet another triple-double, this time with 15 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists, to go along with three steals and a pair of blocks.
"You can't take me out of the game," Weems said. "They always try to take me out of the game offensively, but I don't have to score the ball to impact the game in a huge way.
"Tonight I had a triple-double with assists and I feel like you can't take me out of the game. Even if you want to double-team or triple-team or trap, I will find the open guy and make the right play."
When Weems wasn't navigating through the lane or setting up teammates, it was fellow senior Ronald Jeffrey III that was doing so. He led New Haven with 24 points and added five assists.
"Throughout the whole game, we have to stay focused," Jeffrey said. "We weren't focused. When we came down to it, we got focused and started knocking down shots."
The Rockets appeared to be a couple of steps ahead throughout the game as they pushed the tempo and stepped into passing lanes. New Haven got off to a fast start and led 22-11 after the first quarter, extended the lead in the second quarter, and was never threatened from there.
When Goodrich attempted to climb back into the game in the third quarter, the Rockets answered with a run that put the Martians away for good.
"We have to continue to get better defensively," Weems said. "We have to keep at it every day."
Contact Joseph Hayes at (810) 989-6268 or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Joseph_Hayes11.