Gabe Peraino ’22: After a huge road victory to begin their conference play against Warren Mott, the boys varsity basketball team headed into the following week, where they traveled to play the Utica Henry Ford Falcons and host the New Haven Rockets.
On Tuesday, January 11th, the Bulldogs created an opportunity to build upon their momentum against a weak Henry Ford team who lost their first conference game before Grosse Pointe North.
Romeo exploded on all cylinders to start the game. Multiple stops on defense allowed the Bulldogs to grab a commanding 16-4 lead at the end of the opening quarter.
With the likes of Logan Rolfs ‘22 leading the way on offense and Giorgio Ruffino ‘23 controlling the perimeter on defense, the Bulldogs maintained their lead heading into halftime, 29-15.
Henry Ford refused to give up, continuing to stay in the game the entire way, only allowing Romeo to score a few baskets in the third quarter while shrinking the lead to six points.
In the final quarter, it came down to the team that made the least number of mistakes. Romeo began feeding the big men down low to draw fouls and get to the line through Jacob Watson ‘24. The Bulldogs continued responding to the Falcons’ constant pressure on defense, eventually grabbing the win with a final score of 51-41.
“We finally started feeding our big men down low,” Maxxin Guinn ’23 said. “I think that’s the biggest thing that we needed to improve on because now we’re giving our great shooters the chance to open up our offensive playbook.”
Romeo, by grabbing the first two conference games of the year, allowed their confidence to grow. Testing their ability to move the ball around, shoot at the line, and stand tall on defense, winning a game on the road allowed the Bulldogs to get over their obstacles.
That confidence would be tested when the Bulldogs hosted the New Haven Rockets for their first home game of the new year.
On Friday, January 14th, the stands filled inside the Romeo High School gymnasium as the Bulldogs’ opportunity to grab the top spot in the division became clear.
The game started a little slowly, with both teams trying to create a rhythm. The Bulldogs’ defense improved so much over the last few games, which became an advantage entering that night. By the end of the first, Romeo led by five.
The second quarter told a different story. The Bulldogs couldn’t run many of their plays due to a great game plan by the Rockets. New Haven eventually took the lead just before halftime by two.
After coming out of halftime determined, the Bulldogs finally began feeding Jacob Watson ’24 and Maxxin Guinn ‘23 down low to create some open shots on the wing. Romeo eventually discovered their advantages. New Haven, on the other hand, didn’t respond to any of the changes Romeo made during the break, allowing their lead to disappear heading into the final quarter.
The Bulldogs continued to dominate all ends of the floor. The offense became unstoppable, the defense performed well, and the fans’ involvement resulted in a Romeo basketball win by double digits, 57-43.
Romeo’s fresh start for the new year is off to a huge start. They are currently at the top of the MAC White Division after such a shaky start to the season. Next week, they take a road trip to Grosse Pointe North, followed by a big game against their cross-town rivals, the Eisenhower Eagles.
Timothy Kewley ‘23 is set to make his season debut against either of those two teams. With him, the Bulldogs add another big man and a game-changing machine to their lineups.
“I am ready to go. It’s been hard to watch from the sidelines and not be able to play, “Kewley ’23 said. “I want to make an impact on this team’s success. I am hungry and excited. “