WARREN, Mich. -- Time and again, Romeo Weems shows that he is worth the price of admission.
On Tuesday night at Macomb Community College's Sports and Expo Center, it took Weems all of five seconds to get the crowd to its feet. The 6-foot-7 New Haven senior won the tip off and went streaking toward the net to slam home an alley-oop dunk.
The dunk was one of five that Weems had in his dominant 36-point performance, leading the Rockets (8-1) to an 84-50 win over Warren Mott (7-2) in a battle of first-place teams in the Macomb Area Conference White Division.
"I just go out, play hard and have fun," Weems said. "I just try to get my teammates involved and I try to win -- do whatever I have to do to win."
After falling behind to Mott, 7-2, after Weems' opening dunk, New Haven used an incredible 20-0 run in under three and a half minutes to take full control of the game and never looking back. In the span of its scoring run, the Rockets shot 9-for-11 from the floor to take a 22-7 lead and an eventual 30-17 lead into the second quarter.
To go along with Weems' 36 points, the Hal Schram Mr. Basketball favorite also had 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks and 6 steals.
"He does all of the things that you ask of him to do," New Haven coach Tedaro France said about Weems. "He's just a great leader, a great player. He's just a great kid to coach."
Rockets' high tempo buries Mott
After falling behind 7-2, New Haven's tempo only seemed to increase as the back and forth nature of the opening quarter led to too many mistakes for Mott and easy baskets for the Rockets.
Senior guard Ronald Jeffery III sparked the massive run with a 3-point shot. After a quick Mott turnover, Weems hit a layup while drawing a foul, completing the three-point play right after. From there, Mott had three more turnovers, a blocked shot and four missed shots while New Haven scored quickly and seemingly at will for three minutes.
"Over winter break, we stayed in the gym and we kept running and stuff so we didn't come back slow," Jeffery. "We just tried to bring that intensity every game."
Jeffery finished with a strong night as well, tallying 17 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists.
"We just want to play hard," France said. "Each game we play, we want to play it like it's our last game. We want to play hard. The kids came out today and they knew it was for first place and they just wanted to show that they've been working hard. Practice is so tough that when they get into games, this is the time to have fun."
Weems had 27 points by halftime. He left the floor for the final 28 seconds of the first half. New Haven achieved enacted a running clock (40-point lead) in the third quarter when it went up 75-35. The clock ran for the entire fourth quarter as Mott could not close the deficit to within 30.
Weems and the rest of the starters went to the bench with around five minutes left in the game and did not return.
- Romeo Weems had 36 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks and 6 steals. He had four dunks, including two alley-oops and a windmill dunk. However, Weems got the biggest reaction from the crowd when he soard for a two hand dunk through a defender in the first quarter. He shot an impressive 15-for-22 (68.1 percent) from the floor and 4-for-5 from the free-throw line.
- Ronald Jeffery III had 17 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. He also made three 3-point shots.
- Senior guard Jamir Farrior scored 11 points.
- De'Jon Gantz scored 15 points to lead Mott.
- Dennis Mayfield added 8 points.
New Haven 30, Warren Mott 17It took all of five seconds for Romeo Weems to make his presence felt as he won the tipoff and then slammed home an alley-oop dunk just five seconds into the game.
After Warren Mott took a 7-2 lead, Weems air-balled a 3-point shot, prompting "overratted" chants from but New Haven responded with a 20-0 run over the next 3:19 of the clock, taking a 22-10 lead with 2:32 left in the quarter.
However, right after the New Haven run ended, Weems responded with his third dunk of the quarter, this one in emphatic, two-handed fashion over a Mott defender.
Mott managed a 7-0 run to cut its deficit to 30-17 by the end of the quarter. Weems ended the quarter with 13 points.
New Haven 55, Warren Mott 29 Weems picked up where he left off in the first quarter and opened the scoring in the second with a 3-point shot.
Weems nearly matched the entire Mott roster in scoring with 27 points in the first half. There was some concern with 28 seconds left in the quarter when Weems went straight to the bench, wincing while holding his quad.
New Haven 77, Warren Mott 37 Despite showing a minor limp going into halftime, Weems was on the floor the entire third quarter. He added a windmill dunk to his already monstrous night to give New Haven a 65-33 lead with 4:52 left in the quarter. Jeffery added nine points in the quarter for the Rockets, including seven points during a 16-0 in the middle of the quarter.
By attaining a 40-point lead with a 75-35 advantage, New Haven enacted the running clock rule with about 1:24 left in the quarter.
New Haven 84, Warren Mott 50 With about five minutes left, New Haven sat all of its starters and brought in the bench, up 81-43 at that point. Weems sat and finish with 36 points with 5 minutes still to play.
The running clock rule stayed in effect the entire fourth quarter. Although Mott cut the deficit to under 40 points, the running clock rule stays active until the point differential is within 30 points, which never happened.