This time, overtime wasn’t necessary.
Romeo Weems had 26 points and 12 rebounds and Ashton Sherrell had 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead New Haven to an 81-70 non-league boys basketball victory over visiting Flint Beecher on Tuesday night.
Guard Ronald Jeffery III added 12 points and backcourt mate Tavares Oliver 10 as New Haven completed a 20-0 regular season and won for the second consecutive time against the Bucs after going three overtimes on the Beecher floor last year.
“It was a really good test,” Sherrell said. “It was a hard-fought game.”
The New Haven lead was 61-55 when Ernest Sanders made two free throws for Beecher with 4:33 left, but the 6-foot-7 Sherrell, who operated effectively in the paint before fouling out in the fourth quarter, made a basket and Jeffery added two free throws and then a field goal for a 67-55 lead, and the Rockets went on to extend their Macomb County record with a 46th consecutive victory.
“They’re athletic and they’re fast,” New Haven coach Tedaro France II said of the Bucs. “They pressed us. It was good to see that from them; usually we’re the team pressing.
“They put our guards in some stress, and we overcame it,” France continued. “I wanted to see my guards under fire, and they responded well.”
Theatrice King led defending state Class C champion Beecher with 24 points. Sanders and Jalen Terry had 15 points apiece in a game that was preceded by an invocation offered in response to the shooting two weeks ago at a Florida high school.
The highly anticipated game drew a capacity crowd and was watched by multiple college coaches, including John Beilein of Michigan and Bacari Alexander of Detroit Mercy.
“It was like a playoff atmosphere. We knew it was going to be big,” Weems, who had to change jerseys after getting blood on his No. 1 top in the second quarter, said. “We knew they were going to come ready to play.
“It feels good (to be 20-0), but the ultimate goal is the state championship. We’re going to keep working hard.”
Jeffery had eight rebounds and five assists. Oliver had four assists.
Defending state champion New Haven starts Class B district tournament play Monday against Pontiac at Notre Dame Prep.