Tag Archives: Mt. Clemens

New Haven Remains Undefeated and Betters Mt. Clemens 51-43.

28 Feb

IMG_0168Mt. Clemens and New Haven are two schools separated by 10 miles on historic Gratiot Avenue.  The latest meeting between the Battling Bathers and Rockets was a typical high school rivalry game; a filled to capacity gym and a boisterous crowd, yet, it was the work of a transfer who flipped what might have been New Haven’s first loss of the year into the Rockets’ nineteenth victory, 6’4″ senior guard Dmonta Harris.

Harris has thrived in his lone year at New Haven.  Harris has averaged double-figures with both scoring and rebounding en route to leading the Rockets to an outright MAC Gold Division championship.  He is a strong candidate for Class B player of the year.

Harris’ Rockets have averaged close to 70 points in games the entire season, but not against Mt. Clemens.  The Bathers used their speed and quickness to frustrate the high-powered New Haven attack, limiting the interior touches to 6’10s” Innocent Nwyoko and Jerry Ben, while forcing 12 uncharacteristic Rocket turnovers in the first half.  The Rockets would manage to score only four points in the entire second quarter and Mt. Clemens led 21-18 at intermission.

Even in the early and middle portions of the third, New Haven could not find their offensive rhythm and the Bathers capitalized.  Mt. Clemens used their high-tempo, five guard transition offense to lead as many as 11 points with 3:12 remaining in the third quarter.  New Haven decided to match them fire-for-fire.

“That was a concern coming into the game, they run a five guard set and sometimes their speed is so fast,” New Haven head coach, Tedaro France said.  “We’re a big team, but we got the luxury of going small, so we had to match their speed for speed.”

And speed the game up New Haven did!  Four different Rockets scored to close the third quarter on a 13-0 New Haven run to lead 33-31 entering the final stanza of play; the first Rocket lead since the opening quarter.

“We didn’t have enough energy,” Harris mentioned which was his coach’s message at the half.  “We knew that in order to get this victory, we had to be more scrappy and do the small things.”

Emotions ran high in the fourth, which is expected in any rivalry game. Technical fouls were assessed to each team less than two minutes into the fourth.  The hostile environment only fueled Harris.  Harris scored 10 of New Haven’s 18 points in the fourth quarter, including one stretch where he scored 8-10 of his teams points.  Harris finished with a team-high 19, only four came about in the opening half and Harris did not register a single point in the second.

“He can score a lot points,” France referred to Harris following the game.  “He’s so unselfish to the point at times I got to say, ‘Hey you got to score.’ But he gets the whole team involved, and then when he takes off, he takes off.”

Mt. Clemens would keep the score tight in the fourth.  The Bathers had the game tied with 3:45 seconds left.  However, Harris’ classmate, Austin Sherrell, connected on a jump shot with the ensuing possession for New Haven to gain a 43-41 lead.  From then on, New Haven relied on defense to finish off a well-earned victory.  Allowing just two points the final 3:30 seconds of the contest and held Mt. Clemens scoreless on their final seven possessions.

Aside from Harris, Austin Sherrell contributed 12 points and six rebounds and John Galloway added 11 points.  Mt. Clemens was led by senior guard Devin Felts with 15 points.

When asked about whether or not he knew New Haven could achieve regular-season perfection, Harris is still in awe about the reality of the situation.  “I thought we were going to be pretty good, but not this good,” Harris added. “I never thought we’d be undefeated, I never imagined that!”

Mt. Clemens had won nine of the previous 11 meetings against New Haven.  Both are champions of their respective MAC Divisions, only adding to the game’s intensity.  While he still is the newcomer at New Haven, Harris has been met with open arms from the Rocket community.  “It sill means a lot,” Harris acknowledged playing in his first New Haven vs. Mt. Clemens game, “I know the community supports me a lot; they support my family a lot.”  “Whatever I can do to help, come out and get a victory like this makes everybody happy. That’s all that matters.”

New Haven has just one more obstacle in their pursuit of perfection, a meeting and rematch against Madison Heights Madison.

Both Harris and Coach France are aware from now on, continuing into the playoffs, that every team is going to want a piece of New Haven.  The lessons learned in a playoff-like atmosphere will be invaluable for the Rockets moving ahead into March when each contest is a one game season.

“For the playoffs, I think close games like this show what we can really do as a team,” Harris said.  “This is preparing us to respond to adversity, respond to being pressured, respond to being in a close game, packed out stands, it’s going to be much more of this. So it prepares us for the pressure of the next level.”

Mt. Clemens Senior Forward Dorian Armstrong Talks Siena Heights Commit

24 Feb


One of the more underrated forwards in the Metro Detroit area, Dorian Armstrong, has decided to continue his basketball career at Siena Heights University next season. Armstrong, a 6’6″ power forward/ center has been an automatic double-double for Mt. Clemens this season, averaging close to 10 points and 12 rebounds a game so far for the Bathers. One of the reasons why Dorian chose Siena Heights over schools like Wayne State and Aquinas was because Siena Heights made Dorian a top priority on their recruiting list. He will be given the opportunity to play immediately in college, a key for his decision.

“I’m just grateful,” Dorian had to say, “because I have a college that actually wants me to come and play.”

Dorian is the senior leader of a deep and talented Mt. Clemens front-court. Aside from scoring and rebounding the ball, a major skill Dorian has learned under head coach Jermaine Jackson is a high-motor, which Armstrong sees transitioning well to the college

“I feel my game can transfer very well at the college level.” Dorian noted. “Because I have a high-motor and my coach taught me to go to the action so I think that can get me very far at the college level.

Dorian and his fellow Bathers are amongst the top in Michigan’s Class C, and are gearing up for what they hope to be a long and successful playoff run.

Mt. Clemens’ Martin Luther King Jr. Recap

20 Jan

MtCMt. Clemens was the sight of the Martin Luther King Jr. Classic, a two day event that had games on Saturday as well as Sunday.  Games on Sunday are rare in Michigan, regardless, it was a pleasant way to celebrate the upcoming birthday of such an iconic figure in American History Dr. King himself.

Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy 47 Detroit Allen Academy 37

The Eagles of Chandler Park pulled the upset over the top ten in Class C Allen Academy Wildcats, giving Allen their first loss of the season (9-1).  Allen Academy has a pair of guards that can score at least twenty on any given night in senior Pakiya Ellis and sophomore Jason Williams, but what Chandler Park did to win this game was use their longer and athletic front court players to dominate the paint all game long, controlling the glass, making it hard for Allen Academy to drive to the rim with their length, and getting easy layups at the rim.  CPA has a solid front court duo in sophomore football star Jalen Martin 6’3″, and senior Damon Muex 6’5″.  Martin led the Eagles with 12 points and a 14 rebounds, and Meux contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds.  The two in the third quarter turned the game into an air show with a couple of high-flying alley-oops on the break.  At the guard position, Joe Thomas had 8 points and 6 assists for CPA.  He’s no Derrick Walton, but he’s a solid floor general that gets the ball where it needs to be and lets others get involved offensively.  Ellis finished with a game high 17 points to lead Allen Academy.

Farmington 54 Ecorse 52

Farmington is now a surprising 8-1 halfway through the season after edging out a scrappy Ecorse squad.  The Hawks were led all game long by senior combo guard Avon White, who finished with a game high 15 and dealt 8 assists on the night, even though he sat out more than a quarter due to foul trouble.  White, a transfer from Massachusetts via New York, is an aggressive scoring guard that did most of his damage attacking on the break and finishing at the rim through contact with a couple of fancy and-one finishes.  Last year at South Hadley High School in Massachusetts, White led his squad all the way to the division two state final before moving to Michigan in the Summer.  It was not only White getting buckets for Farmington, but senior sniper Chris Seaborn is another reason why Farmington is off to a hot start this season.  Seaborn contributed 14 points in the win, including two crucial three pointers in the fourth quarter that helped the Hawks put the game away.  Freshman Marlin Talley had eight points and 4 assists for Ecorse.

Mt. Clemens 72 Detroit Community 53

In the marquee game of the night, defending Class B runner-ups from a year ago Detroit Community gave it all they could attempting to pull off the upset over host Mt. Clemens, trailing only 21-17 after the first quarter.  However, in the second quarter, the depth of Mt. Clemens started to show, the Bathers raced out to a 15 point halftime advantage that would not change until 5:07 in the fourth quarter when Community cut the lead down to 9 after a three pointer by sophomore Jemerio Jackson.  But Mt. Clemens would close the game on a 15-5 to keep their undefeated season hopes alive.  It is starting to become pick you poison for the Bathers this year in the front-court.  With starting junior Charles Penn in foul trouble throughout most of the game, coach Jermaine Jackson brought in junior Tariq Jones off the bench, and Jones did not disappoint.  Tariq (6’6″ 200 lbs) brought energy and a tough defensive presence to the game all night long, and contributed 14 points (10 free-throws), and 6 rebounds.  Senior front-court mate Dorian Armstrong asserted himself early in the first quarter, giving Mt. Clemens a monster 8 rebounds both offensive and defensive in the first.  He’s a high-motor kid that challenges just about every shot in his direction and is a very good athlete for his size.

Now its time to take a look at the Bathers guards.  For Mt. Clemens, Jermaine Jackson Jr. had a game high 21 points, including four three-pointers, all in the first half.  Jackson was in the zone early on, hitting threes off the catch on one that was a step back in the corner.  Junior Josh McFolley had a quiet 13 points, due to foul trouble early on.  Fellow junior Davonta Bandoo had 9 points off the bench.  What a luxury it is for Mt. Clemens to have a guard like Bandoo off the bench. He would most likely be a star on any other team in Michigan.  Bandoo possesses undeniable high-major athleticism when attacking the basket with the ability to finish over the rim.  He likes to get to the foul-line, and can from the mid-range as well.  Look for Bandoo to be a key factor in Mt. Clemens’ run for a Class C state title.

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