Rockets outscore Cougars 24-6 in third quarter and cruise to a 79-50 win
By Chuck Pleiness
New Haven boys basketball coach Tedaro France II kept his squad in the locker room at halftime a little extra longer to make a point on Thursday night.
His Rockets heard him loud and clear.
New Haven responded with 24-6 third quarter and cruised to a 79-50 win over Michigan Collegiate to claim the Rocket Holiday Classic championship.
“We had to talk over some things,” France II said. “We had to calm them down. We rushed some. We just had to relax and play our own game.
“We couldn’t come out lax on the defensive end,” France II continued. “If we were going to be lax there we were going to be lax on offense. We needed to turn our defense into offense and that’s just what we did.”
Things started to pick up defensively for the Rockets (4-1) to close out the first half as they finished on an 8-2 run.
“Games are won and lost in the first five minutes of a third quarter,” France II said. “We wanted to come out and set the tempo there.
“I also told them, we can have an off night shooting the ball, but we should never have an off night defensively,” France II added.
New Haven started the third quarter on a 10-0 run, which was highlighted by back-to-back dunks from Eric Williams Jr. and Romeo Weems.
“I wasn’t calm,” France II admitted after the game about his halftime talk to his team. “I’m calm now. We had to calm down some. We just had to play our game, don’t rush and stay to what we do. Don’t do more, don’t do less, just do your job.”
Weems finished with a triple-double for the Rockets – 25 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists. He also had four blocks and four steals.
“We should never have an off night on team defense,” France II said. “What we do starts from there. Our first drill each year is a defensive drill. Kids know if they want to play here you have to defend.
“We can turn our defense into offense, into transition points,” France II continued. “The kids are starting to understand that and that allows you to score in so many different ways instead of jump shots or going to the basket. We can get points off our defense.”
Eric Williams Jr. chipped in 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while AJ Crawford III followed with 11 and Tavares Oliver Jr. finished with 10 points. Ashton Sherrell grabbed 10 boards and Crawford totaled four assists.
“I just our guys succumb to turnovers,” Michigan Collegiate coach Anthony Tolbert said. “Our whole thing coming into the game was take care of the ball, take care of the ball. Don’t shorten the court. Don’t make it easy on them.
When the turnovers started to rack up it was just a huge mountain to overcome. It’s like a faucet, once it turns on it’s hard to turn off. They make you pay. When you turn the ball over they make you pay.”
Antonio Simley led the Cougars (5-1) with 18 points and Ty Lawrence netted 10.
“I thought we played tough, but defensively I don’t think we communicated well enough,” Tolbert said. “Their length combined with their athleticism is hard to overcome.
“It’s basic, fake a pass, make a pass,” Tolbert added. “Those are things we practice all the time. In the heat of the moment, when things are going, they just lose focus on that.”
NEW HAVEN - They put on a show.
The New Haven boys basketball team is quickly proving itself to be the best entertainment value in town. At the New Haven Basketball Tournament on Thursday, the Rockets broke open the game early in the second half and then sealed it with several high-flying, spectacular dunks along the way.
By the time the onslaught had concluded, New Haven earned a 79-50 victory over Michigan Collegiate.
"I feel like when we sit down on defense and pressure, we get our offense going," New Haven sophomore Romeo Weems said after recording a triple-double with 25 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists, four blocks and four steals.
"We got our offense in transition and we started knocking down shots on offense. We play better as a team.When you are unselfish and you play together, you have fun and you can really get going."
New Haven (5-1) led Michigan Collegiate 31-23 with under a minute remaining in the first half. But the Rockets finished the half on a flurry to take a 37-25 lead into halftime. Then in the second half, New Haven got off to a torrid run to take full control of the momentum.
All told, New Haven went on a 30-8 run.
"I think sometimes we start too slow," New Haven senior forward Eric Williams said after scoring 15 points to go along with seven rebounds. "But we picked it up. We knew it was a championship game and we had to get it done.
"I think this year we are more unselfish. It expands everything for us in what we can do."
Antonio Simely scored a team-high 18 points for Michigan Collegiate (5-1).
"Our guys succumbed to turnovers," Michigan Collegiate coach Anthony Tolbert said. "Our whole thing coming into the game was take care of the ball, take care of the ball. Don't shorten the court. Don't make it easier for them. And when the turnovers started to rack up it was a hard mountain to overcome.
"It was like the faucet turned on and you can't turn it off. As you can see, you turn the ball over and they make you pay."
For New Haven, the victory was yet another step in the right direction as it focuses on preparing for league play and ultimately a state title run.
"Like I tell my team, we might have an off-night shooting the ball, but we should never have an off night playing defense," New Haven coach Tedaro France II said. "What we do starts from there. Our first drill of the year starts with defense. Kids know that if you want to play here, you have to defend.
"We can turn our defense into offense and steals and transition points. Now the kids are starting to understand we can score in so many ways and create points off our defense."
Contact Joseph Hayes at (810) 989-6268 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Joseph_Hayes11.
Congratulations to the JV South Lake Boys Basketball Team for winning the Junior Varsity Rocket Classic Division
New Haven rolls past South Lake and Michigan Collegiate upends Mt Clemens in the Semi-Finals of the Rocket Holiday Classic
NEW HAVEN ROCKET HOLIDAY CLASSIC
NEW HAVEN 63, SOUTH LAKE 29: Romeo Weems (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Ashton Sherrell (11 points, 11 rebounds, four steals) each finished with a double-double to lead the Rockets (3-1).
Eric Williams Jr. led all scorers with 16 points and Tavares Oliver tossed in 10 points.
South Lake got 10 points from Jamall Dees.
New Haven will meet Michigan Collegiate at 6 p.m. Thursday for the championship.
MICHIGAN COLLEGIATE 58, MOUNT CLEMENS 44: Jordan Davis finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds, while Jaylen Branch (nine rebounds) and Antonio Simely (11 rebounds) netted 13 points apiece to lead the Cougars (5-0). Reggie Lawrence totaled six assists and three steals.
Mount Clemens got 14 points from Delano Williams and 11 out of Jordan Cotton.
Wednesday, December 28th, 2016
Thursday, December 29th, 2016
All Boys Basketball Games are played at
New Haven High School 57700 Gratiot Ave New Haven, MI 48048
"It is always a great time of fellowship and bonding. It is always great to see all of our former players come back each and every year to participate and give back to our program. The game is always competitive but most importantly it is fun and is a great opportunity for our players to learn and meet the former players and for the former players to teach and guide the present."
New Haven Boys Basketball 2016 Annual Holiday Alumni Game will pit the past vs the present. Great "FAMILY" time. (ALUMNI ROSTER AND PICTURES BELOW)
Coach France and the New Haven Rockets will host its annaul alumni game Friday December 23rd at 1:00pm at New Haven High School.
The Alumni game matches up former Rockets against the current New Haven boy's basketball team. Last years 2015-2016 boys basketball defeated the alumni 108-83
"It is a great tradition and it is great to see all of our former players come back to speak and play against are current team. It is always an exiting and very competitive game! It is a great opportunity for the older guys to spread their knowlegde & wisdom along to their Rocket brothers. It is awesome to see the alumni teaching,helping and motivating our team. The young guys learn a lot and they all seem to embrace and pay homage to those that came before and laid the foundation for our program. We are all FAMILY!!!" Coach France
2016 ALUMNI ROSTER