The tradition continued at New Haven High School on Friday night.
And the tradition continued as to what boys basketball team walked out with the tournament trophy.
The Rockets won an eighth straight Holiday Rocket Classic, 77-51, over South Lake.
“It’s great to have this during the holidays so families can come and see us play,” said New Haven coach Tedaro France II, who began the tournament eight years ago. “We always draw a good crowd. We’ve had the same teams four years in a row so it’s sort of becoming a tradition.”
Romeo Weems led New Haven (7-1 overall) with 27 points and Jamir Farrior added 18. Ronald Jeffrey III chipped in 13 points.
The Rockets led by just three points late in the second quarter before extending it to a 13-point lead at halftime, 35-22.
“We had a slow start and missed a lot of layups,” France said. “We have to complete plays. If it’s there we have to score.”
New Haven lost in the Class B state semifinals last season after winning the Class B state championship in 2017.
“South Lake played hard,” France continued. “We’re going to get each team’s best no matter who they are.
We picked it up defensively and got some transition shots. And we started to make shots. When you score you win.”
A 16-2 run greeted the Cavaliers out of halftime.
“We lost focus of taking care of the ball,” South Lake coach Kurt Wilson, Sr. said. “We’ve got to take care of the ball. We had a good first quarter and a good first half of the second quarter. We just did a terrible of taking care of the ball.
“We’re just as athletic and just as fast, with the exception of Romeo,” Wilson added. “We have some work to do.”
Jeffrey ended with five assists.
Weems finished 11 rebounds, seven steals and five assists. Farrior totaled nine rebounds and seven assists. Brent Wiles took down rebounds. Jasaan Gantt and Malen Lewis also grabbed six boards each.
“He’s just having a great year,” France said of Weems. “He does it on both ends of the court and he’s such a great leader in practice. He works hard. When your best player is the one working hardest it makes your team better.”
South Lake (4-5) got 10 points from Codee Harris and nine out of Jalen Rease.
“We played good half-court ball, but basketball is about up-and-down,” Wilson said. “If you can’t take care of the ball it doesn’t add up to wins and that’s against any team.”
ROCKET HOLIDAY CLASSIC CONSOLATION
MICHIGAN COLLEGIATE 56, MOUNT CLEMENS 53
Mike Blythe scored 14 points and DeQuan Anderson added 13 to lead the Cougars (2-4) in the consolation game of the Rocket Classic. Carleton Smith followed with 11 points, while Jimier Cannon chipped in nine and Trey Redding added eight.
The Bathers got 23 points from Javaughn Hannah and 14 out of Delano Williams. Matthew Coffey netted eight.