The Holt boys basketball team has history on the floor at the Breslin Center on the campus of Michigan State University.
They’ll hope to add to it while participating in the 2012 Holiday Hoops Invitational.
The Rams will take on St. Johns in a CAAC crossover game at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 27.
“They’re excited. The last time we were here we played Grand Ledge when Jon Horford was a senior and Cole Darling for us, so it was a kind of matchup of the big guys and before that my first year here we played Romulus, which was kind of re-visiting the state title game from a few years before,” Holt coach Matt Essell said. “Our kids are real excited and they’re fired up.”
Before the Breslin Center, the Rams still had some games to focus on, including a conference game against Everett and a non-league clash with Ann Arbor Pioneer.
Holt defeated Everett 49-35 on Dec. 14 and then beat Pioneer 68-59 on Dec. 15.
Don’Quall Jackson paced the Rams with nine points and seven assists for Holt against Everett. Colin Jones led Holt in scoring with 11 points and Donte Jackson contributed 10 points for the Rams.
Holt got out to a 16-6 lead after the first quarter and was able to hold Everett to under 10 point in each of the first three quarters.
The Rams scored almost as many points in the first half of their game against Pioneer the following day as they did in the entire game against Everett.
Holt jumped out to a 41-30 halftime lead and was able to hold on in the second half for a big win.
From the beginning of the season, Essell has been hopeful that a more experienced team would be able to close out games this year.
After several close losses caused the team to slip to a below .500 record last year, the Rams have responded so far this season.
“We had just a ton of close losses last year. Lots of overtime losses to good teams like Eastern and East Lansing and I don’t know how many games we lost by one point, two points, three points and so we’re looking to change that now,” Essell said.
“Instead of really young kids starting I’ve got juniors and seniors that I’m counting on, so I’m hoping that maturity buys us some more wins this year.”
The Rams shot 35 free-throws against Pioneer, compared to just eight for the home team. Don’Quall Jackson led Holt with 16 points while Colin Jones added 13 points for the Rams.
Tyrell Williams chipped in with 14 points for Holt in the win.