By Kevin Lozon For The Macomb Daily
New Haven seniors Romeo Weems and Ronald Jeffery III went out with a bang in their final regular-season home game on Wednesday night.
Oh, and both players reached a couple milestones in the process.
Weems scored 34 points, and Jeffery II added 29, going over 2000 and 1000 career points, respectively, leading the Rockets to a hard-fought 74-58 non-league win over defending Class C state champion Detroit Edison Academy.
“Ronald needed five points to get to 1000 career points tonight, and Romeo needed 13 points for 2000 career points,” New Haven coach Tedaro France II said. “Watching both of them come in here as freshmen and watching them get better and better each year has been great. It’s an honor to coach great kids like that.”
Weems had a quadruple double, adding 12 rebounds, 10 blocked shots, 10 steals and five assists in the contest, while Jeffery III chipped in six rebounds, five steals, three assists and two blocked shots. Together they combined to score all 40 second-half Rocket points.
“They’re a little better than what I thought,” DEA coach Brandon Neely said. “I knew they shot the ball well. Romeo Weems does a great job of doing everything. He leads his team and doesn’t force shots. He does everything right.”
DEA, with only one senior on its squad, gave the Rockets all they wanted, especially in the first half, which ended with New Haven holding a 34-24 lead.
“This was a test for us,” France said. “We had Flint Beecher here the last two years before the playoffs, but I wanted to get the defending Class C state champions here this year. Edison is a team that knows how to win and are well coached.”
However, Weems and Jeffery III took over in the third quarter, pacing a 21-14 run, including 12 by Jeffery III, extending the Rockets advantage to 55-38 heading into the final quarter.
Besides Weems and Jeffery III, New Haven also received nine points, five assists and four rebounds from Trenell Payne, and two points by Brent Wiles. The win ended the Rockets’ regular season record at 19-1 overall. New Haven will host next week’s boys district tournament.
“Our team played well as a team, especially on defense,” France said. “We’re peaking at the right time. We’re getting there day by day and brick by brick. If we can continue to work hard and play hard together, we can do some good things this year.”
DEA, which fell to 13-7 overall, was led by Brian Taylor with 20 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, while David Hughes added eight points.
“We’re just a young basketball team with only one senior,” Neely said. “That always shows up in these types of games. We must learn how to take care of the ball and push the post. We’re learning as it goes along.”
State Champs Michigan boys basketball rankings for Week 13: New Haven is the new No. 1 in D2, Muskegon, Martin, Michigan Center join top 10s
TJ Kelly, State Champs
League and Conference championships are being decided this past and current week which has caused a shaking up in Division 1 and the top of Division 2. New Haven is the new No. 1 in Division 2, Beecher holds the top spot in Division 3, and undefeated Bellevue remains No. 1 in Division 4 for the third week in a row.
Detroit King (15-4, 9-1 No. 2 DPS-Central) — Former No. 4 in D1 ; 55-46 Feb. 12 loss vs. Detroit Renaissance at Cass Tech in the DPS semifinals, 56-44 Feb. 17 loss to Ann Arbor Pioneer; Feb. 21 at D3 No. 7 Detroit Edison P.S.A.
Roseville (15-3), Mattawan (15-0), Ann Arbor Pioneer (16-2), Oxford (17-1), Saginaw (15-3), Detroit Renaissance (15-4), Chelsea (15-3).
Hudsonville Unity Christian (16-2), Holland Christian (14-4).
Kalamazoo Hackett (15-3, 10-0 No. 1 SWAC-Valley) — Former No. 9 in D3 , 71-52 Feb. 13 loss at D3 No. 8 Wyoming Potter’s House, 60-57 Feb. 15 win vs. Constantine, 90-46 Feb. 18 win vs. Kalamazoo Phoenix; Feb. 19 vs. Lawton, Feb. 22 at Kalamazoo Christian.
Schoolcraft (15-3), Quincy (15-2), Saginaw Valley Lutheran (16-2), Carson City Crystal (16-2), Monroe St. Mary’s CC (14-3), McBain (14-3).
Athens (14-3, 11-3 No. 2 SCAA-West) — Former No. 4 in D4 , 74-49 Feb. 15 win at Colon, 53-51 Feb. 16 loss vs. Battle Creek St. Phillip; Feb. 19 at Waldron, Feb. 20 at Camden-Frontier, Feb. 22 vs. D4 No. 1 Bellevue
Eric Williams, Jr. had a strong week for Duquesne averaging 18.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.5 steals to earn #A10MBB Co-Player of the Week.
David Goricki, The Detroit News
State Super 20
Mick McCabe, Detroit Free Press
Ranking, school, record, division:
Ranking, school, record, previous ranking:
George Pohly, The Macomb Daily
New Haven won an unprecedented third MAC basketball tournament championship with a 64-55 victory over Roseville in the Red/White final on Saturday.
The Rockets won Blue/Gold tournament titles in 2017 and 2018, the first two years the event was held.
New Haven won the White Division championship this season. The Rockets were Blue champions in 2017 and 2018.
Ronald Jeffery III scored 26 points and Romeo Weems 19 against Roseville.
Come out and show out today for your New Haven Rockets as we take on Roseville in the MAC Tournament Championship game 5:00pm at Stevenson High School #WintheDay #FAMILY
Jared Purcell, www.mlive.com
STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. -- Sometimes, failure is the best teacher.
On Saturday night, New Haven boys basketball coach Tedaro France talked about failure shortly after claiming the program's first Macomb Area Conference Red/White tournament title.
"The kids, sometimes you can't teach things until they see themselves fail first," France said.
The reason why France was talking about failure was because it was a key factor in New Haven's 64-55 win over Roseville in the MAC Red/White title game.
The two teams met in early December for the second game of the season and Roseville (15-3) came away with a 65-60 win. It was the first regular season loss for New Haven (18-1) since Dec. 16, 2016.
"A loss can teach you so much because we have won so much over the last five years," France said.
Of course, a loss can give a team extra motivation in search of revenge. All New Haven senior wing Romeo Weems wanted was to right the only wrong on the Rockets' record this season.
"I just felt like we had to come out here tonight and show them who we really were," Weems said. "We just didn't play around. I took this game serious because this was the only team that beat us at home ... I took this game personal and serious. I wanted to come out and win and we did."
Weems finished with a double-double, recording 19 points and 17 rebounds while also adding 5 assists, 3 blocks and 3 steals in front of a capacity gym at Sterling Heights Stevenson High School.
"I feel like we've got a chance to win (a state championship)," Weems said. "We keep playing hard, keep working, getting better every day, keep playing like we did tonight ... we're going to do it."
Roseville would not go down easy
The game was tied four separate times in the first quarter with New Haven only grabbing a 13-12 lead after one quarter. New Haven was able to build a 23-14 lead with 3:45 left in the half before Roseville senior Darien Banks spearheaded a big run to close the gap to 27-26 with 16 seconds left.
Although New Haven got another basket from senior Ronald Jeffery III before the half for a 29-26 lead, Roseville tied the game at 29-29 on the first shot of the second half when Lazell Judge hit a 3-point shot.
New Haven would not earn at least a nine-point lead again until it took a 50-39 lead on an 8-3 run in the fourth quarter. Roseville trailed by 12 points with 2:21 left after a Weems dunk but managed to close the gap to 58-51 with 44 seconds remaining. However, with no more timeouts left, New Haven pulled away with free-throw shooting to close the game.
"That's 100 percent credit to our guys," Roseville coach Hassan Nizam said. "I tell them all the time -- the first time we played them (and) the second time -- you go (back) four or five-straight years, everybody in the county has rolled over to them. Every time you look at a box score, it's New Haven by 30, New Haven by 40 if it's a MAC game ... Our kids fought to the buzzer, man. You can't ask for more than that. They kept fighting."
Roseville was led by 22 points from Banks. Battling New Haven's press all game, no one else reached double-figures scoring for the Panthers.
"I think they amped up the pressure on us a bit more today than they did the first time," Nizam said. "We kind of expected it because of what they'v been doing. I thought we did not a good job against their pressure and it kind of just took us out of our flow. If we could take it back, I think that's one thing we'd want to do a better job of just handling that full-court man with Romeo on the ball."
New Haven's unsung heroes
When Jeffery went to the bench after recording his fourth foul with still over five minutes to play, senior guard Darius Brooks came off the bench in his place and had a couple of quality minutes. He had a steal, forced another turnover and also drew a foul to split a pair of free-throws.
"Brooks made two great plays late," France said. "Two great hustle plays. That kid, man, he's a special kid. We're so deep at guard, this is probably my most deep team I've had here in years. To bring in a player like that and give us a great spark, it's good to have."
New Haven's 6-foot-4 senior forward Malen Lewis also had a solid game in the paint, despite scoring only 6 points. After Roseville cut New Haven's lead to 38-34 in the third quarter, Lewis came up with a bucket near the basket just 20 seconds later to give the Rockets more breathing room. Roseville never got any closer.
"He played hard," Weems said. "He rebounded, boxed out, did the lttle stuff. He did his thing."
1st quarter: New Haven 13, Roseville 12The first quarter proved to be an entertaining one as both teams came out with a lot of defensive pressure. Although both teams were trying to find a rhythm offensively, they also went blow for blow against each other.
The game was tied at 2-2, 4-4, 8-8 and 10-10 in the quarter. The difference at the break was a 3-point shot by New Haven senior Ronald Jeffery III, which gave the Rockets a 13-10 lead before Roseville junior Martell scored with five seconds left to make it 13-12.
2nd quarter: New Haven 29, Roseville 26New Haven expanded its lead to 23-14 with 3:45 until halftime before Roseville began to chip away, going on a 12-4 run in the next three and a half minutes to cut the Rockets' lead to 27-26. The run was highlighted by seven points from Roseville senior Darien Banks.
However, Jeffery came up with a layup for New Haven with nine seconds left in the quarter to give the Rockets a 29-26 lead at the break.
3rd quarter: New Haven 42, Roseville 36Roseville tied the game at 29-29 on the first shot of the second half as senior Lazell Judge drained a 3-point shot. However, Roseville would only score one more basket for nearly five minutes as New Haven went on a 9-0 run, taking a 38-29 lead.
Roseville stopped the New Haven run with another 3-point shot with 2:43 left in the quarter, this time from Banks.
4th quarter: New Haven 64, Roseville 55Entering the final quarter with a six-point lead, New Haven quickly expanded on it as the Rockets put together an 8-3 run in the first three minutes to take a 50-39 lead.
Although Jeffery went to the bench with four fouls with over five minutes left, New Haven kept Roseville from taking advantage, forcing missed shots and turnovers.
With 2:21 left in the quarter, Romeo Weems slammed home a two-handed dunk to make it 55-43. It would be the last basket from the field for New Haven as the Rockets pulled away by going 9-for-10 from the free-throw line to close the game.
New Haven gets revenge for December loss to Roseville, claims its first-ever MAC Red/White tournament title
BY: MATTHEW B. MOWERY STATE CHAMPS
STERLING HEIGHTS — When you win so often, losing can sometimes seem like an affront.
But it’s almost always invaluable as a motivator and teaching point.
Roseville beat New Haven all the way back in December, but that was the motivation the Rockets used as fuel to drive them through the regular season, and into the Macomb Area Conference Red/White tournament, knowing they’d probably meet the Panthers in the finals.
That’s where they were Saturday evening, in front of a packed house at Sterling Heights Stevenson, earning a bit of payback with a 64-55 win to claim their first-ever Red/White tournament title.
“They beat us second game of the season, and stormed our court, so I felt disrespected. It was on the second game of the season, and we were still getting better, so I felt like we had to come out here tonight, and show them who we were,” New Haven’s Mr. Basketball candidate Romeo Weems said. “We didn’t play around. I took this game serious, because this was the only team to beat us, at home, second team to beat me at home my whole career in high school, so I took this game personal, serious, and wanted to come out and win, and we did.”
That 65-60 home loss on Dec. 4 snapped a 39-game regular-season win streak for the Rockets, dating back to a loss to Macomb Dakota on Dec. 16, 2016. The Rockets went on to win the Class B title that season, running the table the rest of the way.
“We learned so much from that loss, it prepared us for now. A loss in December prepares us for March,” New Haven coach Tedaro France II said. “We grew so much since then. A loss can teach you so much. Because we’ve won so much the last five years … the kids, sometimes, you can’t teach things until they see themselves fail first. You gotta fail first, and we failed, big-time, and we heard their talk. We could’t wait to get back here. We knew we had to take it game-by-game, but we knew that we would meet them here, and we’d be prepared for it.”
The Rockets have won five straight division titles, but the previous four were either in the MAC Gold (2015 and 2016) or in the MAC Blue (2017 and 2018). This year was the first time they’d been in one of the top two divisions — winning the MAC White — to gain entry into the top tier tournament.
As the White Division champ, New Haven (18-1) had to win road games at Clinton Twp. Chippewa Valley at Sterling Heights Stevenson to get to the Red/White title game.
The crowd was a bit more robust on Saturday, though, with tournament officials stopping ticket sales once the gym’s capacity was reached, and with standing-room only around the bottom level of the gym.
“For us, as much as we wanted to win, getting her tonight was huge, because we have to learn how to prepare for an opponent in a playoff scenario, and then we got to come here and play on Saturday, where there wasn’t anywhere to sit in the whole gym, it felt like. Our kids were down in the huddle, during the game, and you’d say, ‘Hey, just everyone look around and smile.’ And it’s like ‘Woah,’” Roseville coach Hassan Nizam said. “Credit to the MAC: You can’t beat this as far as getting ready for the playoffs.”
Weems loved the atmosphere, too.
“I love the stands being packed, the crowd saying ‘overrated,’ booing and all that stuff,” the senior said. “I love that.”
With Weems, who finished with 19 points, 17 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and three steals, and Ronald Jeffery III, who had 26 points, 10 rebounds and six steals, the Rockets certainly weren’t overrated.
They led Roseville (15-3) by a 13-12 margin after one quarter, 29-26 at the half, and 42-36 headed to the fourth. That’s when the Rockets started to get a bit of separation, using a couple of defensive plays from senior Darrius Brooks — two forced turnovers, one of which he turned into free throws — to help build the lead back up, using an 8-3 run to lead 50-39 with 4:35 to go.
“Brooks made two big plays late. Two great hustle plays. That kid, man, he's a special kid, but we’re so deep at guard, this is probably my most deep team I've had here in years. To bring in a player like that and give us a great spark, it's good to have,” France said. “We take pride in playing great team defense. That’s what we do. We know if we want to win games, the kids know that if they want to play, they have to defend.”
John Ukomadu had a bucket, then Martell Turner hit a pull-up jumper off a steal to cut it back to seven, 50-43, with 3:40 left. A Weems dunk with 2:21 left pushed the lead back up to 12, at 55-43, but the Panthers weren’t done.
Roseville got the deficit back to seven, 58-51, with 40 seconds left, but was forced to foul to stop the clock, and New Haven closed out the win at the line.
“I will say this: That’s 100 percent credit to our guys. I tell them all the time … ‘For four or five straight years, everybody in the county has rolled over for them. Every time you look at a box score, it’s New Haven by 30, New Haven by 40, when it’s a MAC game.’ So for us to, the year they’ve got Romeo, and the year they’ve their team, to beat them one time, and as bad as it feels to lose tonight … our kids fought to the buzzer,” Nizam said. “You can’t ask for more than that. They kept fighting, they kept fighting. We’ll sit on this one, and it’ll put us in better position to make a run in (Division 1), for sure.”
Darien Banks led Roseville with 22 points, and Turner and Lazell Judge both had nine, but nobody else had more than six, as the New Haven pressure took the Panthers out of their offensive flow for much of the night.
“I think they amped up the pressure a little bit on us, more today than they did the first time, but we kind of expected it, because it’s what they’ve been doing. I thought we did … not a good job against their pressure. It just kind of took us out our flow.
If we could take it back, I think that’s the one thing we’d want to do better job of, just handling that full-court pressure with Romeo on the ball,” Nizam said. “You’re playing, you’re playing, you’re playing, and you get a one-point lead, or you’re down to one, and then two, three turnovers in a row, they get it to seven or eight, and they’re a tough team, so you don’t want to put yourself in a hole against them, and we did that to ourselves a few times tonight.”
George Pholy, The Macomb Daily
Roseville stormed the New Haven court after beating the Rockets in a MAC crossover basketball game in December.
“I felt disrespected,” New Haven senior Romeo Weems said.
The Rockets got some of their dignity back Saturday.
Weems and Ronald Jeffery III had a double-double apiece to lead New Haven to a 64-55 victory over the Panthers in the MAC Red/White tournament championship game before a near-capacity crowd at Stevenson.
Weems had 19 points and 17 rebounds to go with five assists and three blocked shots.
Jeffery scored 26 points and had 10 rebounds plus six steals as the White Division-champion Rockets improved to 18-1 with their 17th consecutive victory since the Roseville loss.
It was New Haven’s third MAC tournament championship in the three-year history of the event. The Rockets won Blue/Gold titles in 2017 and 2018 before moving to the White.
“We didn’t play around,” DePaul recruit Weems said. “This game was personal.
“I love it when the gym is packed. I love it when the crowd is saying ‘Overrated,’ and booing and all that stuff.”
Darien Banks led Roseville with 22 points. Martell Turner and Lazell Judge scored nine apiece.
“They amped up the pressure a little bit more today than the first time,” Roseville coach Hassan Nizam said. “But we expected it with what they’ve been doing.
“We did not do a good job against their pressure. It took us out of our flow. But our kids fought to the buzzer. They kept playing, kept playing. We’ll sit on this and learn from it.”
Roseville, the 2018 Red/White champion, benefited from the tournament experience, Nizam said.
“As bad as we wanted to win, getting here was huge,” Nizam said, “because we had to learn how to prepare for an opponent in a playoff scenario. We had to come here on a Saturday. It felt like there wasn’t a place to sit in the whole gym.
“You can’t beat this as far as getting ready for the playoffs.”
Roseville, the MAC Red co-champion with Stevenson, is 15-3.
Big victory over Roseville 64-55 to win the MAC Tournament Championship. It was a tough path playing on the road at Chippewa, Stevenson & defeating both MAC Red Champions. Great team win! Boys displayed great leadership, poise & togetherness #BrickbyBrick #WintheDay #FAMILY
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
New Haven Basketball