Tedaro France may have the tallest team ever to take the court in Macomb County. Back to that later.
France, in his seventh season, suffered through a 4-8 season in the MAC Gold last year. With four players back, and some rather large additions, the
Rockets could be poised for a big improvement.
“We return four players from last year’s team with one starter, 6-2 senior forward John Galloway,” France said. “Three others who have started multiple games and played key roles are 6-1 senior guard Josh Mills, 5-8 senior guard Marquis Perkins and 6-6 wing/forward Josh Harris.
“We have a good mixture of size, speed and athleticism that if it comes together could be a very special season for this group. We are very raw in terms of basketball Intelligence and overall experience and even with having eight seniors, very few have little varsity experience. We have been taking it one repetition and one day at a time, instilling the basic fundamentals and necessities of the game of basketball.”
France, who has gone 90-43 in seven seasons as New Haven’s coach, has been pleased with preseason practices.
“This will be one the deepest and tallest basketball teams I’ve had here at New Haven High School,” he said. “We will have the ability to go 10-11 guys deep. The competition has been intense at each position for starting spots and rotation minutes.”
Galloway was an honorable mention All-League performer last season.
“John brings great toughness and intensity to our program which makes up for him being an undersized post player in our system,” France said. “He is a natural leader that does it the right way on and off the basketball court.
“Marquis Perkins has been our best on-ball defender the last two years and with improvements in both his shot and ball skills over the summer, I am looking forward to him stepping into a bigger role for us this season,” France said.
Josh Harris had several big games for the Rockets, including games or 21 points and 15 rebounds and 18 points and 14 rebounds.
“He brings great athleticism. He had over 12 dunks last season,” France said. “At 6-6 he is long, athletic and can handle the ball and step out into the perimeter.
“Josh Mills started over 10 games for us last year. A left-handed natural guard at 6-1 brings a good mix of size and speed to that position. He scored 17 points and made two big 3-point shots and one was a game winner in a double overtime victory over St Clair last season.”
Other players that are going to be key contributors this season are 5-9 junior guard Damion Farrior, 6-9 junior forward/center Jerry Ben, and 6-11 junior center Innocent Nwoko, who made a verbal commitment to Central Michigan.
“He is very athletic and fast for his size although very raw as this will be his first full season of playing organized basketball,” France said of Nwoko. “He has become a great rebounder, shot blocker and strong finisher around the rim.”
France is very high on Ben
“Jerry has the ability to pick and pop and knock down perimeter shots. He has a nice soft touch around the rim and can finish with either hand.”
Senior point guard Austin Sherrell (6-6), 6-4 senior guard/wing Dmonta Harris, and 5-10 senior guard Dolan Bonkowski also will contribute.
“Sherrell at 6-6 is our most skilled guard and will handle the majority of our point guard responsibilities,” France said. “Dmonta Harris is a strong athletic wing that is a great finisher around the rim and in transition. He’s very explosive and exciting player to watch.”
The Rockets open the season Dec. 13 at the Oakland County Invitation.