EAST LANSING >> Marcus Bingham Jr. and Grand Rapids Catholic Central proved to be too tall an order for New Haven.
Six-foot-11 Michigan State recruit Bingham scored 11 points and had 13 rebounds Friday night as GRCC snapped the Rockets’ 52-game winning streak with a 69-53 victory in a state Class B semifinal boys basketball game at the Breslin Center.
Bingham served notice before the game was two minutes old that he’d be a New Haven problem when he blocked Ronald Jeffery III’s perimeter shot, and Bingham finished the first quarter with four blocks on the way to a game total of seven against the 2017 state champions.
“We adjusted our shots,” New Haven coach Tedaro France II said in reference to playing the Cougars, whose lineup included 6-8 forward Jacob Polakovich, who took eight rebounds. “It changed our shot selection a lot.
“We picked a bad time to play one of our worst games of the season.”
Bingham had all of the Cougars’ blocks.
“I don’t know if we got into their heads,” CC coach T.J. Meerman said. “But we’re really long.”
Junior point guard Austin Braun scored a career-high 31 points for Grand Rapids Catholic Central (24-2), which plays Benton Harbor at 6:45 p.m. Saturday for the state championship.
Junior Romeo Weems scored 20 points, senior Tavares Oliver Jr. 15 and senior Ashton Sherrell 12 for New Haven (26-1), which lost for the first time since the second game of the 2016-17 season.
New Haven was in the semifinals for the second consecutive year, a feat accomplished by only one other county school, Lake Shore in 1993 and 1994.
On the way to the semifinals, MAC Blue Division-champion New Haven won a county-record fourth consecutive regional championship.
“It wasn’t the result we wanted, but the kids fought,” France said. “We never quit. I told the team we have a lot to be proud of.
“To get back here a second straight year is tough.”
Weems had eight rebounds and Sherrell seven. Weems blocked six shots.
Oliver canned a couple of triples to help the Rockets, who trailed by 17 midway through the third quarter, get to within 44-37 late in the third quarter, and a free throw by Ascaun Johnson got the Rockets to within 45-39 with 1:12 left.
But when Bingham missed the second of two free throws with 49 seconds left, Polakovich took an offensive rebound and fed a pass to Devon Boyd, whose 3-pointer put CC ahead 49-39, the lead the Chargers carried into the fourth quarter.
“There were some tense moments, but we regrouped,” Meerman said.
Bingham fouled out in the fourth quarter, when he was called for his second technical foul of the game.
New Haven’s Jeffery, Jamir Farrior and Johnson fouled out.
Braun made a 3-point goal and had a three-point play as Grand Rapids CC scored the first eight points of the second half for a 37-21 lead with 6:50 left in the third quarter.
Weems’ pass from the high post to Sherrell led to a layup that cut CC’s lead to 25-19 late in the first half.
It was one of the few set plays the Rockets were able to convert to that point against the CC zone.
Sherrell had 12 points in the first half to help New Haven stay within striking distance as Grand Rapids CC held a 29-21 lead at the intermission.
Bingham had four blocked shots in the first quarter. He also proved an effective perimeter shooter with a pair of 3-point goals in the first half.
Grand Rapids Catholic Central led by as many as 11 points in the first quarter, the largest lead of the first half.
Bingham’s only hiccup of the first half came when he was called for a technical foul for swinging an elbow at Weems after the New Haven junior dunked with 6:18 left in the second quarter.
Bingham had two fouls in the first half. New Haven’s Sherrell and Johnson also had two apiece.