Posted On: 03/24/18 12:53 AM
Today marked the final day of semi-final action, with a pair of games for both Class A and Class B taking place at the Breslin Center in East Lansing. Here’s a recap of the Class B semi-final action:
Each team headed into this game with only a single loss on the season, so it was bound to be a good matchup. It was a competitive game until the final minutes, when Benton Harbor really pulled away. To start, Benton Harbor’s Shawn Hopkins got off to a great start, scoring 8 points in the first quarter. Also, guard Elijah Baxter got hot from deep, burying three triples in the third quarter, including a buzzer beater from 25 feet out. These three pointers opened the game up and gave Benton Harbor a double-digit lead that ultimately proved to be too much for River Rouge to overcome, as they would win 60-49. Sophomore Carlos Johnson was tough for the Tigers against Rouge’s pair of 6’7″ bigs in Dan Few and Legend Geeter, both who had solid games but were challenged everytime they stepped foot in the paint by the 6’6″ Johnson. Also, junior guard Nigel Colvin, who’s played well all playoffs, had a good game for Rouge as well. He was in double figures by half and was the only source of offense at times.
While this game featured two big time names in New Haven’s Romeo Weems and Catholic Central’s Marcus Bingham, it was CC’s pint-sized guard Austin Braun who stole the show. Braun was simply unstoppable, pouring in 31 points from all three levels. Typically a pass-first player, Braun took advantage of New Haven’s seemingly ole defense and put his team on his back, as Bingham and Darrell Belcher sat most of the game due to foul trouble. This game ultimately turned into a free throw contest, both in the first and second half – Catholic Central was in the bonus before the third quarter ended. Michigan State signee Marcus Bingham added 11 points, 13 rebounds and 6 blocks despite fouling out with 5 minutes to play in the game.
For New Haven, Romeo Weems led with 20 points. Though he struggled percentage-wise, he was responsible for creating offense during several scoring droughts over the course of the game. Also big for the Rockets was 6’7″ Ashton Sherrell, who was shredding Catholic Central’s defense from the short corner/low post the entire first half. He was also money from the free throw line, which was huge given how many fouls the refs were calling. In the second half, sharpshooter Tavares Oliver got hot and knocked down 3 trey balls in a row to spark a New Haven run that brought that game within single digits. Despite him having 14 points in the second half, the Rockets were unable to string together a long enough run, and would end up losing with a final score of 69-53.