Rockets to play Lake Shore at Anchor Bay
By George Pohly
@GPohly on Twitter
Get ready for an all-champions MAC Blue-Gold final.
Eric Williams Jr. scored 40 points Tuesday night to lead New Haven to an 84-51 victory over Warren Woods-Tower in a MAC Blue-Gold boys basketball tournament semifinal game on the Rockets’ floor.
Romeo Weems added 19 points as Blue Division champion New Haven stretched its winning streak to 16 games and set up a tournament title game against Gold champ Lake Shore.
“He’s on fire,” Weems said of Williams, who had 50 points in the Rockets’ previous game. “He made shots. It was a big game.”
Williams said workouts on game-day mornings have helped his game.
“That gets me fueled up for the game,” Williams said. “Everything’s been falling for me.
“I’m playing more aggressively. I went through a little slump earlier in the season, but I’ve been more aggressive lately.”
The Rockets and Shorians will clash at 5 p.m. Saturday at Anchor Bay as the inaugural tournament concludes.
New Haven, which led 63-32 after three quarters, is 17-1. Its lone defeat came in December against eventual MAC Red Division champion Dakota.
Charles Anderson scored 18 points and Jauron Vicks had 10 to lead Warren Woods-Tower, which had won nine of its previous 10 games prior to taking on the Rockets.
“We were too passive offensively,” WWT coach Nick Evola said. “We were on our heels, and we threw the ball away. On defense we did a poor job of keeping guys in front of us.
“We got into a hole. We’d make a couple plays, but we couldn’t string together enough to make a big dent in their lead. We also had guys in foul trouble, so we couldn’t be as aggressive as we wanted defensively. We allowed them to play the way they wanted to play.”
Warren Woods-Tower slipped to 15-3. The Titans lost twice to Gold champion Lake Shore during the regular season. Lake Shore defeated St. Clair 47-35 in the other Blue-Gold semifinal game.
Williams also had seven rebounds. Weems had 10 rebounds and four steals. Ashton Sherrell had six rebounds; A.J. Crawford four assists and Will Moore four rebounds for the Rockets.
Williams, who scored 50 points in a tournament semifinal victory over Fraser on Friday, had 23 in the first half against the Titans. His triple with one second left in the first half gave the Rockets the 40-21 lead they carried into the intermission.
Williams continued his barrage in the third quarter, scoring seven of the Rockets’ first 10 points, the last two on an up-and-under layup, as the New Haven lead grew to 50-21. Williams finished the third quarter with 13 points, giving him 36 for the game to that point.
Williams’ final bucket, a putback with 4:28 left in the fourth quarter, gave New Haven a 75-37 lead, and he and Weems left the game soon thereafter.
New Haven stretched a 12-point first-quarter lead to 40-21 by the end of the first half. The Titans were 8-of-16 from the free throw line in the first half and were 13-of-24 for the game.
Williams scored 13 in the first quarter to help New Haven build a 25-13 lead.
It was the only meeting this season between the Rockets and Titans.
New Haven went 4-0 against WWT the past two seasons combined on the way to back-to-back MAC Gold championships. The Rockets moved to the Blue this season.