Jerret Smith Reflects on Game, Season, After Loss

Romulus head coach Nate Oats and point guard Jerret Smith comment after their 65-62 loss on Saturday to Holt in the MHSAA Class A title game. <br>

Opening Statement from Coach Nate Oats:

"It kind of hurts. We came this far and we thought we would get a win. You don’t play a series in high school or college you play one game and its done so tonight they were the better team. We were better than everybody but one in the state, which is not bad. We came farther than anyone expected…farther than everybody else in Romulus history except for the 1986 team. We would have liked to have this one back. I thought our guys showed great character coming back we were down 13 in fourth. We fought back and really had a shot, down by one. Avery Stephenson didn’t step out (after receiving the in-bounds pass from Jerret Smith with 8.5 seconds left) and they gave Holt the ball. We get a shot up there and have a shot to win the game. Our guys played well. I am disappointed today. Two weeks from now I feel I will be able to look at the season and enjoy it a little more than I do right now."

Question from the media:

Coach Oats, the press has worked through out the tournament but you didn’t use it in this game. Can you comment on that?

"Well the half court trap we run, they got some open three’s on it. We tried in the second quarter a little bit so we went into halftime and talked about it. The players wanted to stay in man to man and we generally let them have input about the game. We were getting hurt by El-Amin. He was a tough cover for us tonight. We didn’t go to it in the third with the 1-2-2 we usually run. Then in the fourth we decide to run a little man to man run and jump trap thing that we run. I put the five senior guards in who had the most riding on the line in the game. Either way, their season would be done regardless of the outcome. We played that way a lot this season I thought. I wish I would have put in the press in the second or third quarter tonight."

Coach you had 8.6 seconds left. What were you going to run?

"Well we had Geryn (Reese) on a seal it was a tough pass for Jerret to make. If that was not there, he was going to throw it to Avery (Stevenson) like we did. Jerret was going to come off the hand off, turn the corner, get into the lane, and create something. The kid pushed. Avery moved his foot. We were standing there. He didn’t go out of bounds…and they gave Holt the ball. We shoot two free throws… they shoot 15. I am not going to put it all on that, but we attacked the rim pretty hard they whole game. We shot some open three’s you guy’s saw it. We attacked the rim pretty hard and Jerret went 2-2. That was our first time at the line tonight."

Jerret it looked like you were right in the position you wanted to be in. Can you comment on that?

"It is never a position that you would like to be in. We shoot two free throws and the other team shoots 15. It is not an excuse for a loss, but it looks odd. How many games have you seen like that? With the situation Geryn had, his man sealed but I felt it was a tough pass trying to throw it around the center (Paul Crosby 6’6 245lbs). I gave it to Avery and it looked like a push. We can’t ref the game we have to run the plays."

Jerret do you feel they had the pace to your liking out there today?

"It sort of felt like we couldn’t get into our pace. When we tried to get into our pace, we were getting fouls called on us. We got in some early foul trouble. It is hard to get in your pace. I had early foul trouble Geryn and some of our other seniors were in foul trouble, so it was tough. Our bench stepped up big for us today. They gave it their all."

Jerret they seemed like they were getting physical out there with you today?

"It was not so much that they were getting physical with us. It is just that when we got physical back it was just a little…. that's no excuse for the loss."

Questions for Jerret Smith by GBW’S Andre Barthwell

You guys didn’t get it done today what are your thoughts?

"Our shots were not falling like they were in the first half. We were playing together as a team. Sometimes during the game it seemed as if we were playing a seven on five game, and that’s hard to stop. Holt is a great team and I would never ever doubt them or talk bad about them, but two free throws for the game? (Laughter )."

Can you talk about your experience coming over to Romulus and you relationship with Coach Oats?

"We have a great relationship now. It was rocky at first because when I first came, I was coming from a situation that was different. When I tried to make the change so quick, it was hard for me to adjust to it. This is the closest team I have ever been on and I love these guys with all my heart and I would do anything for these guys. Coming over (from Westland John Glenn), the competition was so much better and that is something that I wanted to experience. I had fun this year."

What are your feelings on your seniors that you played with?

"We are real close. This game will not break us apart it will just make us closer. All of us are going to college."

How did you feel about playing at the Breslin today?

"I love playing here. People build it up because it is the rival school, but they have a court and two rims just like we (Michigan) do. I am sure I will get booed the next time I am here, but that’s okay. When people boo you, they doubt you and I have been booed my whole career."

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