Austin Sherrell is having his best season during his senior year at Kentucky State University. Countdown to Senior Day
We will spotlight the seven seniors to be honored Saturday ... today we continue with 6-7 Senior Austin Sherrell
The Rockets have two weeks before the state tournament begins but are using the MAC Red/White Division Tournament as a dress rehearsal. After defeating Chippewa Valley in the quarterfinals, New Haven took another step in playing its best on Wednesday night, downing host and MAC Red co-champion Stevenson 67-50 in the tournament semifinals.
“We’re working hard and each day we want to win the day,” New Haven coach Tedaro France II said. “We want to improve more than we did the day before. The kids are working hard and we’re gelling here at the end of the year.”
New Haven put a full-court man-to-man defense on Stevenson from the opening tap and it sparked the Rockets in the first half, racing to a 20-14 lead after one quarter, before extending that lead to 37-28 at halftime.
“We knew coming (to Stevenson) and playing against a well-coached team, we knew we had to set the tempo defensively,” France said. “It was a big playoff game against the MAC Red co-champions. They’re a tough team and we had to take away the crowd and them in the first half.”
Ronald Jeffery III had 16 points in the first half, while Trenell Payne added 11 for the Rockets in the first 16 minutes.
“We know teams are going to try and take Romeo (Weems) away,” France said. “My guys do a good job getting those wide-open looks and they’re making teams pay for focusing on just one player. Ronald and Trenell are kids who can score and they’re taking advantage of the opportunity.”
Stevenson coach Mark LaCombe said New Haven’s pressure defense was effective but said it should’ve been mind over matter for his Titan squad.
“Give New Haven credit,” LaCombe said. “But our kids have been playing long enough now that their pressure is what it is. It’s more in your head than it is anything else. New Haven played hard and had great athletes, but it was more of us trying to get used to that style.”
Both teams scored eight points in the third quarter, before New Haven put the game away with a 22-14 run in the final period, including eight points by Jamir Farrior and seven points from Weems.
“Stevenson can shoot the three and they still made a lot of them in the first half,” France said. “We wanted to make them dribble and drive to the basket. For the most part we did a good job with that tonight.”
Jeffery III led the Rockets with 22 points, while Payne added 14 points. Weems and Farrior chipped in 13 and 10 points, respectively. The win improved New Haven’s record to 17-1 overall and moved the Rockets in Saturday’s championship game against Roseville. Game time is set for 5 p.m. at Stevenson.
Stevenson was led by Jerry Wilson with 15 points, while Ayhem Hanna added 14 points, and Ethan Peck contributed 11 points.
“Ethan has been awesome all season in big games when we need him,” LaCombe said. “He rebounds and has been finishing well. He was a bright spot for us tonight.”
The loss dropped the Titans’ record to 12-4 overall. Stevenson will play the loser of the Dakota/Roseville game on Friday night.
“I don’t know if it was our best shot, but we gave it a good shot,” LaCombe said. “We didn’t execute offensively the way we have the past couple of games. The offensive execution was not clean, which is frustrating.”
Rockets get big victory on the road over MAC Red Champion Stevenson 67-50 to advance to Championship game. Boys played hard, smart & together.
MAC Championship game Saturday 5:00pm vs Roseville at Stevenson High School
#Defense #TEAM #WintheDay #FAMILY
*Jeffery 22pt 3reb 3ast 3stl 3bk
*Payne 14pts 5reb 2ast 2stl
*Weems 13pt 11rb 7ast 4stl 5bk
*Farrior 10pts 2reb 3ast
*Brooks 6pts 2reb
*Lewis 2pts 5reb
Boys basketball rankings by The Associated Press for the week of Feb. 11:
David Goricki, www.detroitnews.com
The boys basketball state tournament will get underway in a couple of weeks, and two rivals will be tipping it off when No. 6 Detroit King faces No. 12 Detroit Cass Tech in a Division 1 district opener at Detroit Western Feb. 25.
The teams are familiar with one another, have already split their PSL regular-season series. They're on a collision course to play for the PSL championship Friday night at Cass Tech, if King (15-2) can get past Detroit Renaissance (14-3) and Cass Tech (12-5) can get past Detroit Pershing (16-1) in Tuesday’s semifinals at Cass Tech.
While the survivor of that district opener could make a long postseason run, so could No. 4 U-D Jesuit, which has an outstanding lineup in physical 6-foot-4, 220-pound forward Daniel Friday, 6-10 center Jalen Thomas, 6-6 junior forward J.T. Morgan and guards Julian Dozier, Jordan Montgomery and Caleb Hunter, who are all strong defenders.
Before U-D Jesuit (15-2) — which won the Class A state championship in 2016 with Cassius Winston leading the way — starts its postseason run it will try to earn its seventh straight Catholic League championship.
“I think we have everything we need to win a state championship,” said Friday, who will play next year at Brown. “We have great guard play, probably the best big in the state and we have me, who tries to do everything.
“(Dozier) is a great player, real crafty, smart and can do everything on the court. Jordan hustles, is a scrapper and Jalen blocks shots, rebounds and scores. J.T. is real young and real talented and can do a lot of things.
“J.T. is one of those players that doesn’t need to score to affect the game. We just need him out there, being long, contesting shots, grabbing boards and running the floor. I think I’ve improved the most attacking. I was real passive to start the season, but when I realized my team needs me to attack for us to win I started attacking more.”
U-D head coach Pat Donnelly feels good about his team — whose lone losses are to No. 3 New Haven when Thomas was sidelined with a foot injury and to Chicago Morgan Park in early January — and is thrilled to have Friday leading the way.
“He’s a great player, a man amongst boys,” Donnelly said of Friday. “He’s big. He’s athletic. He’s strong and can handle the ball and get to the rim. He’s a tough matchup for high school basketball.”
It’s hard to believe Clarkston would be in the conversation of having the potential to reach the Breslin Center in mid-March for the Final Four after it lost its entire eight-man rotation, including Mr. Basketball award winner Foster Loyer and legendary head coach Dan Fife, from its two-time state championship team.
But, Clarkston (15-2) is in that conversation, earning its No. 5 ranking and clinching the Oakland Activities Association Red Division title with a 10-0 record, while also defeating Detroit King 53-39 on Jan. 19.
Clarkston is getting things done with 7-foot junior Matt Nicholson (13.3 points, 11.4 rebounds, 4.7 blocks) and a pair of freshman guards in Keegan Wasilk (11.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists) and Fletcher Loyer (16.4 points, 4.2 rebounds), younger brother of Foster, leading the way.
While Nicholson has made it tough for the opposition to score, blocking shots and altering others, Loyer has displayed his perimeter shooting, shooting 43.6 percent from 3-point range, making nine 3-pointers in a win over West Bloomfield.
Roseville — 14-2 and ranked No. 8 — would have to be considered a sleeper, earning an early season win over Mr. Basketball front-runner Romeo Weems (DePaul) and New Haven, with guard Darien Banks scoring 27.
Roseville, coached by 24-year-old Hassan Nizam, is on collision course to face New Haven in the Macomb Area Conference Red/White tournament championship game Saturday at Sterling Heights Stevenson, if Roseville can defeat Macomb Dakota and New Haven gets by Stevenson in Tuesday night’s semifinals.
No. 15 Ypsilanti Lincoln and 6-8 freshman phenom Emoni Bates will be a team to keep an eye on. Lincoln will try to put an end to Ypsilanti’s run of 10 straight Southeastern Conference White Division championships when the teams meet Friday at Lincoln.
Bates scored 43, making 6-of-11 3-pointers, in Lincoln’s 68-56 win over Ypsilanti Jan. 19 played before a packed house, including Michigan State coach Tom Izzo.
Lincoln will be playing in a competitive district with a second-round game against the Ypsilanti-Belleville winner, with a possible title bout with No. 20 Ann Arbor Pioneer (14-2), the SEC Red champ.
Weems wants nothing more than to end his brilliant career at New Haven with another state championship.
New Haven earned its first state title in program history in 2017, then was derailed in the semifinals last year, losing to Grand Rapids Catholic Central.
New Haven has one of the top 1-2 punches in the state in Weems (28.7) and 6-1 senior guard Ronald Jeffery III (21.0), who have combined for nearly 50 points a game.
“He can shoot the ball and get to the rim; he’s quick and I love having him on the floor with me,” Weems said of Jeffery. “We’re just taking things one day at a time, getting better every day. If we play our game and do what we’re supposed to do we can compete for a state championship.”
Said New Haven coach Tedaro France: “I love this MAC tournament because it’s a great tournament, and with short prep time it prepares you for the state tournament. It’s a great atmosphere, great event for us.
“This is probably my deepest team I’ve had as far as guard play and we have the firepower, but we just have to be more consistent at doing the small things.”
Division 2 is loaded with great teams, including No. 1 River Rouge, which advanced to the state semifinals the last two years, No. 2 and defending Class B state champion Benton Harbor, No. 10 Williamston, No. 11 and unbeaten Bridgeport, No. 14 Grand Rapids Catholic Central and No. 20 and unbeaten Otsego.
After suffering its lone loss to Detroit Edison, Benton Harbor defeated Bates and Lincoln 86-83 in the RedHawks Showcase at Grand Rapids Union Feb. 2 with 6-6 junior Carlos “Scooby” Johnson scoring 38. Johnson received an offer from Michigan earlier this winter.
Benton Harbor will play host to River Rouge on Saturday.
No. 7 Flint Beecher will be the team to beat in Division 3, with Detroit Edison being a strong contender after winning the Class C state title last year.
Beecher — which won three consecutive Class C state championships from 2015-17 and two straight in 2012-13 — is led by the talented junior backcourt of 6-0 Jalen Terry, who has multiple Big Ten offers, including Michigan State, and 6-3 Earnest Sanders.
Edison has played one of the toughest schedules, earning wins over Benton Harbor, No. 13 Canton, Oak Park, Romulus and Dearborn Divine Child and losing games against U-D Jesuit, Detroit Renaissance and Chicago Orr.
Edison has size with 6-5 Brian Taylor and 6-6, 230-pound junior Bryce George showing some toughness inside.
Unbeaten Pewamo-Westphalia and Iron Mountain are also having strong seasons, as are Quincy (14-1) and Detroit Pershing.
Southfield Christian (2012-14, 2018) and Powers North Central (2015-17) have won every Class D state championship since 2012.
Well, North Central (11-4) already has lost several games this season after setting the state record for consecutive wins (84, 2014-17).
And, Southfield Christian (12-6) lost the bulk of its starters from last year’s state championship team, losing standout guards Harlond Beverly (Montverde, Fla.) and Caleb Hunter (U-D Jesuit) to transfer.
Brimley and Bellevue are unbeaten and could make a deep run, and fans will be following Marcellus Howardsville Christian (14-1) with interest, since 6-4 guard Dylan Jergens has been putting up big numbers, averaging close to 40 points.
Jergens has 2,432 career points, ninth on the all-time state scoring list. He averaged 32.1 points last season while leading Howardsville Christian to a 20-6 record and regional championship. He scored 59 in a game this season.
BY: SCOTT BURNSTEIN FEB 10, www.statechampsnetwork.com
Burney’s Mr. Basketball Race Power Index:
Mick McCabe www.freep.com
Michigan high school basketball: Mick McCabe's state rankings
Rank, School, Record, Division
Rank, School, Record, Previous
However, that’s where the Rockets were Thursday night against host Chippewa Valley in the quarterfinals of the MAC Red/White Division basketball tournament.
Chippewa Valley led 40-39 after three quarters, but the Rockets took their game to another level in the final eight minutes, going on a 27-12 run, coasting to a 66-52 victory.
“This is what we need,” New Haven coach Tedaro France II said. “I love this tournament because it’s a playoff feel. It gives us some playoff games before the real playoffs start. It was a slow start for us tonight, but we picked it up in the fourth quarter.”
The Rockets led 29-21 at halftime, before Chippewa Valley’s Myren Harris went off in the third quarter, scoring 16 straight points in a 19-10 Big Red run, putting his team up by a point heading into the final period.
New Haven, though, opened the fourth quarter with a 13-3 run, including six points by Ronald Jeffery III, and back-to-back dunks by Romeo Weems, the second slam putting the Rockets up 53-43 with 5:54 to play.
“We were stagnant the whole game and weren’t playing the way we like to play, especially on the defensive end,” France said. “We’re supposed to set the tone defensively and our offense comes off our defense.”
After a layup by Chippewa Valley’s Corey McCray cut the gap to 53-45, the Rockets answered with triples from Trenell Payne and Weems, pushing the lead to 59-45, and cruising from there to the end.
“Give New Haven credit because they stepped up in the fourth quarter and I don’t know if we were fatigued or not, playing just six guys, but we didn’t meet the challenge,” Chippewa Valley coach Kevin Voss said. “They have an elite player in Weems and a lineup of very good players.
“We made mistakes in the fourth quarter,” Voss added. “We have to share the ball and get other people baskets and we didn’t do that tonight down the stretch.”
Jeffery led New Haven with 18 points, while Weems added 17 points, and Payne finished with 14 points.
“(Jeffery) has been having a great year for us,” France said. “He’s a four-year starter and he’s gotten better each year. Now he’s getting better each day. He’s a hard-working kid who is great to coach.”
The win improved New Haven’s record to 16-1 overall, and moved the Rockets into the semifinals where they will face host Stevenson on Feb. 12.
“We want to play the best and we strive for that,” France said. “Sometimes you can’t practice game situations. We didn’t play great today, but we stepped up in the fourth quarter. Defense got the job done.”
Big tournament win on the road over Chippewa Valley 66-52. Not a pretty win but our boys stayed together and got the job done! Semi-Final game on the road Tuesday at MAC Red Co-Champion Stevenson
*Jeffery 18pts 3reb 3ast 3stl
*Weems 17pts 12reb 3ast 5stl
*Payne 14pts 6reb 3stl
*Wiles 6pts 5reb 2stl
*France 3pts 2reb
*Brooks 2pts 4ast
*Dandridge 2pts 3reb
*Farrior 2pts 5ast 3stl
*Lewis 2pts 3reb
Congrats to our lady Rockets on winning the MAC Bronze League Championship tonight. Great Job Girls #NewHavenStrong #FAMILY
Joshua 1:9-10 ”Be strong & courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Detroit Free Press Michigan high school basketball: Top performers From Monday and Tuesday. Ronald Jeffery III and Trenell Payne made the list.
Here are the top high school basketball performers from Monday and Tuesday around the state of Michigan:
Congrats to Head Coach Tedaro France II on win number 200 in his 11 year varsity head coaching career. Coach France is averaging 18.2 wins a season over 11 years.
“Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Cor 10:31
To God be the Glory
"It’s not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.”
Rockets #1 in the East and #3 in the State Super 20 David Goricki's boys high school basketball rankings: Feb. 3
David Goricki, The Detroit News
Here are new high school boys basketball rankings as of Feb. 3, 2019, by David Goricki of The Detroit News. Goricki ranks the top teams in the state, and in the four Metro Detroit regions.
State Super 20
New Haven Basketball