Rochester Adams’ Ben Chermside blows by a Southfield A&T defender during a game earlier this season. At press time, the Highlanders were 10-4 overall.

Rochester Adams’ Ben Chermside blows by a Southfield A&T defender during a game earlier this season. At press time, the Highlanders were 10-4 overall.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Adams basketball finding success amidst pandemic

Highlanders have high hopes for postseason

By: Zachary Manning | Rochester Post | Published March 16, 2021

 Andrew Brown goes up for a shot against. The Highlanders will begin postseason play March 25.

Andrew Brown goes up for a shot against. The Highlanders will begin postseason play March 25.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

ROCHESTER — Prior to the start of the season, there was talk of moving the Rochester Adams boys basketball team down to the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division.

Conversations were justified, as the Highlanders finished last in the league the previous season and posted a 7-14 overall record. But coach Jaret Thomas believed in his players and fought to keep them in the higher division.

The team responded and proved the coach right. At press time, the Highlanders were 10-4 overall and 4-3 in OAA White play. Adams has wins over the likes of Grosse Pointe South, rival Rochester High and OAA White leader Bloomfield Hills High.

“I think with each win, especially reflecting from last season to this season, you see the kids’ confidence grow,” Thomas said. “I see a team that expects to win, finds unconventional ways to win, and even though it hasn’t always been pretty, I feel the belief is very high with this team, and that’s a step forward for us.”

As the season winds down and playoffs near, you’d be hard pressed to find a hotter team than Adams. At press time, the Highlanders had won seven of their last nine contests, with one of those losses coming in triple overtime.

Thomas attributes the success of his team to the balance it has. On any given night, anyone is capable of providing the spark on offense. However, a lot of it can be boiled down to what the Highlanders have done on the defensive end of the floor.

Throughout the season, Adams hasn’t allowed an opponent to top the 70-point mark, while only three have hit 60 points. Two of those 60-point scoring games came in double- and triple-overtime contests.

The Highlanders are allowing opponents to score an average of 51.9 points per game, while scoring 54.6 points per game on offense.

“We just prove people wrong by working hard,” junior Jacob Durand said. “It’s not like we’ll be talking trash or anything like that. We like to make a statement by working hard. That’s what we strive to do.”

Playing in the OAA White, Adams believes they are as ready for the playoffs as anyone. Thomas notes the challenge of facing a tough opponent night in and night out.

Entering the postseason, the Highlanders won’t be lacking for close-game experience, as eight of their 14 games have been decided by six points or fewer. With the late game experience and late season surge, Adams is confident in its ability to make some noise, come postseason.

The Highlanders will kick off postseason play March 25 against the winner of Romeo High versus Oxford High. The district is being hosted by Oxford.

“You try to start with the end in mind, and I think where we’re at right now is really a positive place,” Thomas said. “We’re just going to approach each game one at a time. Obviously, we can’t overlook anybody. We take every opponent very seriously … I love the month of March, but we just got to execute and play our game.”

Call Staff Writer Zachary Manning at (586) 279-1107.