First he got rid of the sleeve, and then he shed L’Anse Creuse.
Romeo Weems scored 21 points to lead a balanced scoring attack and guide undefeated New Haven to a 72-29 MAC Blue Division boys basketball victory at L’Anse Creuse on Friday night.
Wearing a sleeve to protect his right elbow, which has a bone chip, Weems shed the equipment in the first quarter after struggling with his shot.
The 6-foot-7 junior then sank a 3-pointer, made two free throws and tapped in his own miss during the Rockets’ 26-4 burst in the second quarter that gave the visitors a 40-15 lead.
“We turned up our defense,” Weems said, referring to the second quarter. “I just didn’t feel right with the sleeve, so I took it off.”
Ascaun Johnson scored 16 points, Ashton Sherrell had 14 and Tavares Oliver 12 for New Haven, which improved to 5-0 in the division and reached the halfway point of the regular season at 10-0.
Weems had 11 rebounds, five assists, four steals and two blocked shots as defending state Class B champion New Haven extended its county-record winning streak to 36 games.
“I think we’re playing pretty good,” Weems said.
Sherrell had 11 rebounds and Johnson five.
DaShawn Mills led L’Anse Creuse with 10 points. The Lancers fell to 3-2 in division games and 5-4 overall.
L’Anse Creuse had lost two games by one point, and the Lancers anticipated a battle with New Haven as a vocal student section assembled for the teams’ first meeting of the season.
But after trailing 14-11 after one quarter, the Lancers didn’t score in the second until Mills’ basket with 4:03 to play in the half – and by then the Rockets were up 24-13 and on their way.
“We got away from our game plan,” L’Anse Creuse coach George Woods said. “We beat the press, but we couldn’t finish at the rim.
“I think guys got frustrated and tried to go one-on-one too much.”
Turnovers also plagued the Lancers in the second quarter.
“We had too many turnovers,” Woods said.
Sherrell had 11 of New Haven’s first 21 points.
L’Anse Creuse was called for technical fouls on two occasions in the second half, both for actions involving Weems.
The first came after a Lancer player threw the ball into the middle of the New Haven player’s back after play had stopped, and the other came after an intentional foul as Weems was going to the basket.
“We just want our kids to keep playing and not react to stuff like that,” New Haven coach Tedaro France said.
Weems, who is being recruited by several major college programs, showed a lot of his skills during the game.
He dove into the New Haven bench to save a ball from going out of bounds; made a half-court bounce pass that hit Oliver in stride and resulted in a layup, and threw down a one-handed dunk with 1:34 left in the third quarter, which ended with New Haven leading 64-22.
The fourth quarter was played with a running clock.