Detroit — Rocket Watts admittedly struggled in Detroit Old Redford’s Class B district championship game Friday night at Mumford High, talking proudly of his teammates who stepped up in earning a 54-48 victory over Detroit Henry Ford to advance in the postseason.
Watts, a 6-foot-2 junior point guard who has multiple Division I offers, including Michigan State, Michigan, Xavier and Cincinnati, had 12 points, making only 2-of-11 shots.
Still, Watts had a number of his young teammates play well, including freshman guard Kejuan Andrews (13 points, 4-of-9 shooting) and 6-8 sophomore Andre Polk, who had 14 points and nine rebounds.
Old Redford (17-5) scored five straight points to open up a 29-22 lead with three minutes left in the third when Polk scored off a putback after Watts missed a transition basket, then Troy Lattimore made a 3-pointer after a teammate got another offensive rebound following a missed 3-pointer by Watts.
“We had a great game. I struggled a little bit, but I’m a leader, the oldest one on the team and I had to bring my team together and get the win,” said Watts, who also had eight assists. “Isaiah Jackson (another 6-8 sophomore) played well, blocked shots, but he got into foul trouble so we had to sit him down. I felt Kejuan Andrews played well. I stayed in his head and he got the job done.
“They (Henry Ford) really boxed-and-one me fullcourt, but I’m a DI point guard so I had to get my team the ball, stay calm and get the win. I felt we fought a real good team, had to play a 2-3 zone against them because they shoot the ball real well. We did a good job of executing it.”
Henry Ford guard Anthony Roberts played well, but had little help offensively from his teammates. Roberts scored 22 on 8-of-20 shooting, making 4-of-10 3-pointers, but his teammates connected on just 3-of-22 3-pointers.
Old Redford coach Craig Covington was proud of Andrews and the rest of his team.
“Kejuan Andrews was suspended last game because he got in trouble in school so I didn’t even let him play last game, but he was probably the best teammate of everybody. He’s learning on the fly as a freshman and he’ll probably be one of the best players in his class by the time he’s a senior. He’s playing with three Division I prospects in the starting lineup and he showed up, him and Andre Polk, they showed up and played like never before and now we get to play again next week.”
The game was competitive throughout. Old Redford led 8-7 after one with Henry Ford (17-5) taking a 20-18 halftime lead.
Old Redford took a 33-28 lead heading into the fourth quarter thanks to Watts making a 3-pointer and Lattimore knocking down two long range shots.
Still, Henry Ford battled back and pulled within 33-30 early in the fourth when things got ugly with fans fighting in the stands and officials getting involved in the outcome.
After Roberts dunked to get Henry Ford within three, he stripped Andrews of the ball near midcourt. The two players started jawing and Roberts was called for a technical foul.
Instead of Henry Ford getting the ball following Roberts steal, Watts made two free throws for a 35-30 lead and Old Redford got the ball with Andrews driving to the basket and getting fouled, after what looked like a clean block.
Henry Ford coach Ken Flowers was whistled for a technical and Andrews made two free throws, and Watts two more on the technical to open up Old Redford’s largest lead, 39-30.
Henry Ford never recovered.
More Class B
Detroit Country Day 79, Clawson 46: Julian Roper had 16 points, Wendell Green 13 and Dylan Sandhu 12 for Country Day (16-6). Omar Johnson scored 13 for Clawson.
Detroit Henry Ford Academy 41, Detroit Collegiate Prep 32: Trevion Williams had 16 points and Josh Wilson 14 for Detroit Henry Ford Academy (14-6). Darren Gray scored 11 for Collegiate Prep (3-12).
New Haven 82, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep 71: Tavares Oliver had 33 points and five assists, Romeo Weems had 17 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, Ronald Jeffery had 11 points and Ashton Sherrell 10 for New Haven (23-0).
River Rouge 72, Detroit Voyageur 35: Jason Norton had 16 points and six rebounds and Micah Parrish 15 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks for River Rouge (21-1). Detroit Voyageur finishes 20-1.
St. Clair Shores South Lake 73, Harper Woods 53: Amer Gilmore had 23 points, 13 rebounds and four steals, Robert Davis had 13 points, and Emmanuel Spillman 12 points and 10 rebounds for South Lake (21-2). Terill Hunter scored 10 for Harper Woods (15-5).
Dearborn Edsel Ford 43, Melvindale 32: Junior Jalal Baydoun scored his 1,000th point with 10 points and six assists and Khalid Saeed had 14 points and 13 rebounds for Edsel Ford (15-8). Melvindale finishes 12-11.
Farmington 57, Birmingham Groves 55: Ray Bryant had 25 points and Jaden Akins 11 for Farmington (15-7). Daniel Lee scored 17 and Offie Roshed 15 for Groves (10-12).
Macomb Dakota 47, Anchor Bay 42: Ryan Rollins had 15 points, three rebounds and three assists, LJ Hassell 11 points, three rebounds and three blocks and Mark Tocco eight points, three rebounds, six assists and two steals for Macomb Dakota (16-7). Justin Schultz scored 16 for Anchor Bay.
Okemos 58, Mason 46: Jordan Henry had 18 points and Evan Thomas 12 points, 14 rebounds and four assists for Okemos (19-4). Noah Anderson scored 16 for Mason (13-9).
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 51, Waterford Mott 38: Lorne Bowman had 26 points and Caden Prieskorn 11 for St. Mary’s (14-7). Mike Hardy scored 11 for Mott (19-4).
Troy 68, Birmingham Seaholm 47: Leon Ayers had 24 points, Danny Sully 13 and Jason Dietz 10 for Troy (17-5). Cooper Mixon scored 14 for Seaholm (9-14).
Warren De La Salle 71, Warren Cousino 62: Ethan Sikorski had 19 points, Kole Gjonaj 17 and Luke Pfromm 12 for De La Salle (16-7). Jason Dysch scored 15 for Cousino (13-10).
Wayne Memorial 84, Dearborn Heights Crestwood 46: Isaiah Lewis had 23 points, Rashad Williams 20, and Cartier Muse-Suber had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Memorial (16-7). Hadi Elghaul scored 16 for Crestwood (7-16).
Detroit Loyola 74, Detroit Community 66: Myron Gardner had 27 points and 20 rebounds, Mark Mayberry 14 points and nine rebounds and Chris Perry 14 points and 11 rebounds for Loyola (12-11). Detroit Community finishes 12-6.
Detroit Pershing 71, Clinton Township Clintondale 44: Ron Hill had 14 points and seven assists and Johnny Davis 13 points and 10 rebounds (12-10).
Sterling Heights Parkway Christian 90, Marine City Cardinal Mooney 76: Micah Mclain had 22 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, Kyle Hensley 22 points, 23 rebounds, four assists and three steals, Bryce Perko 17 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks, Luke Stricker 17 points, five rebounds and three assists and Joey Lapinski 10 points, three rebounds and five assists for Parkway Christian (14-8). Daniel Everhart scored 41 for Cardinal Mooney.
DISTRICT FINALS SCORES
Ann Arbor Skyline 52, Ann Arbor Huron 47
Belleville 57, Saline 49
Clarkston 77, Oxford 35
Dearborn Edsel Ford 43, Melvindale 32
Detroit King 46, Detroit Western 38
Detroit U-D Jesuit 55, Detroit Renaissance 41
Farmington 57, Birmingham Groves 55
Gibraltar Carlson 36, Woodhaven 35
Lakeland 53, Walled Lake Western 51
Livonia Stevenson 75, Redford Thurston 54
Novi 74, Northville 56
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 51, Waterford Mott 38
Rochester Adams 63, Utica Eisenhower 45
Roseville 80, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore 77
Wayne Memorial 84, Dearborn Heights Crestwood 46
Dearborn Divine Child 68, Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard 54
Detroit Country Day 79, Clawson 46
New Haven 82, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep 71
St. Clair Shores South Lake 73, Harper Woods 53
Ann Arbor Greenhills 55, Riverview Gabriel Richard 49
Detroit Edison 82, Detroit Delta Prep 54
Madison Heights Madison 66, Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest 57
Allen Park Inter-City Baptist 70, Detroit Davis Aerospace 23
Auburn Hills Oakland Christian 62, Waterford Our Lady of Lakes 46
Plymouth Christian 80, Ann Arbor Central Academy 50
Sterling Heights Parkway Christian 90, Marine City Cardinal Mooney 76
Detroit News staff contributed