New Haven’s Romeo Weems may only be a freshman, but he played like a varsity veteran on Tuesday night.
Weems poured in 17 points to lead the Rockets to a 71-33 MAC crossover boys basketball win over Anchor Bay.
“Romeo plays well for us,” New Haven coach Tedaro France III said. “I know he can score, but he passes the ball well and rebounds well. He gets his teammates involved and plays defense hard.”
Weems asserted himself right from the open tap, scoring 12 points in the first quarter, staking New Haven to 26-10 lead. Eric Williams Jr. added eight points the period, including a triple. France said defense dictated the opening-quarter run.
“The kids played hard,” France said. “We want to spark our game by how we play on defense. Team defense is what we preach every day. The kids know if they don’t play defense for me, they won’t play. That’s the key on how our program is built.”
The Rockets didn’t let up in the second quarter, outscoring Anchor Bay 17-8 in the frame, including six points by 6-foot, 11-inch Innocent Nwoko, increasing their lead to 43-18 at halftime.
“They’re very good,” Anchor Bay coach Bob Jolet said. “We knew going in that you can’t teach height. You can teach a lot of things, but height isn’t one of those things. Our bigs and juniors aren’t big or strong enough. They manhandled us.”
Anchor Bay never threatened to overtake New Haven in the second half, getting outscored 17-11 in the third quarter, and 11-4 in the final stanza.
“They’re all great kids and we work hard,” France said. “We have a young group this year and the more we play, the more experienced with get. We have to let them play through some mistakes to build that cohesiveness to be a good team.”
Beside Weems’ big night, the Rockets also received 12 points from Nwoko, while Williams Jr. had 11 points, and Jerry Ben added nine points. The win improved New Haven’s record to 10-1 overall.
“We still haven’t put together that complete game, yet,” France said. “We want to win the day. We want to win each drill, each pass and win each day. We still have things to work on, including that cohesiveness that we need to be a good team.”
Anchor Bay was led by Brendan Vermander with 10 points, while Jordan Irwin added five points. The loss dropped the Tars’ record to 7-5 overall. Jolet said his postgame talk centered around Friday night’s MAC Blue Division game against visiting Grosse Pointe South, which trails the division-leading Tars by a game in the standings.
“We told the kids that this one is done and over with,” Jolet said. “We erased the board and there’s only one thing on our mind and that is Grosse Pointe South (on Friday night). That’s our most important game of the year. Tonight was a scrimmage with uniforms on.”