on February 28, 2015 8:30 AM
The New Haven boys basketball team is one win away from completing a 20-0 regular season.
Beating arch rival Mt. Clemens, 51-43, on Friday night in the MLive Detroit Game of the Week was another one of its big moments in its historic season.
Already locking up the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division title and a No. 2 ranking in Class B by the Associated Press, New Haven is having one of its best seasons ever and its best as a member of the MAC.
It only makes sense that New Haven's success has come thanks in part to one of its best rosters ever. With six players between 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-11, the Rockets' have a blend of size, athleticism and skill that it rarely sees.
Led by the scoring of senior Dmonta Harris, who is averaging 20 points and 12 rebounds per game, New Haven is in uncharted waters as the state tournament looms on March 9.
"It's overwhelming," Harris said of New Haven's success this season. "It's really overwhelming. It's amazing. It's really a blessing from God to think that we were put into a position and given the opportunity to work hard and see how hard work pays off."
With Harris joining the team for the first time this season after transferring from Waterford Mott, New Haven knew it had a chance to be good with a core group of player returning.
Still, what New Haven has been able to accomplish this season has even surprised the players.
"I knew we were going to be pretty good but not this good," Harris admitted. "I never thought that we'd be undefeated. I never would have imagined that."
New Haven coach Tedaro France knew that there was more potential than people thought. Getting a road win was something that France knew was possible despite Mt. Clemens being the MAC Blue Division champion and the fact that New Haven had lost the previous four meetings.
"It just shows how hard we work," France said. "Our kids are dedicated to each other ... It's just a big win for us. It's always tough to come in here and win. When you come in here and win, it's always a great win."
Despite the atmosphere and pressure of the game - and even coming out with some lackluster play in the first half - New Haven showed in the second half that it is a team to be taken seriously in Class B and will look to keep its unbeaten season going on for as long as possible.
New Haven has found a new level of swagger.
"We try to hold ourselves to that standard," Harris said. "That standard of being one of the top competitive teams in Class B. So, we have to hold ourselves to that standard, that swagger. The sort of way that, going into the game, we are something, we are somebody.
"We're not just any old team. We're a team that comes together. We're a team that's ranked up there. We think about that every game."