Sayvonn Houston finished with 22 points for Brockton, none bigger than the two free throws he made with 15 seconds left in overtime to put the Boxers up by 3 over Charlestown in the Division 1 EMass championship at TD Garden Monday night.
After Rony Fernandez missed a 3-pointer and William Baker added two more free throws, the Boxers held on for a 67-64 win.
“I love moments like that,’’ said Houston. “I love the pressure, I like to feed off it. I told all my teammates, ‘I’m going to make the free throws, I do it all the time,’ in the heat of the moment when I know I’ve got to do it I just go out and do it.’’
Brockton’s Jamal Reuben (10 points), who only had 6 points in regulation, came up with two huge drives to set the tone in overtime and put the Boxers ahead by 4.
“What worked [in overtime] was that we continued to be aggressive,’’ said Brockton coach Bob Boen. “Reuben got the ball and took it to the hoop strong a couple of times. He hadn’t done too much tonight, but at the end of the game he got in two very powerful moves to the basket.’’
With seven seconds left in regulation, Baker (6 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals) drove the baseline and went up for the go-ahead basket, only to have Tyrik Jackson block the shot (his fifth) and send the game into overtime.
“We’ve lost three years in a row in the tournament in overtime,’’ said Boen. “So when we got there again tonight, I have to admit it crossed my mind.’’
The Townies led for most of the first quarter, but with 20 seconds to play Baker went coast-to-coast for the Boxers to tie the game at 19.
Brockton’s Jaylen Blakely (15 points) called his own number with 4:15 to play in the half to put the Boxers up, 30-23. Blakely drove on Fernandez (10 points), then faked a pull-up jumper and ducked under Fernandez for the lay-in. After 16 minutes, Brockton led, 34-30.
The Boxers fell behind in the third but finished with a flurry, highlighted by the play of Drew Fiske. The senior hit an NBA-range three, took a charge, and then connected on a last-second three as time expired to tie the game at 44.
“Fiske’s a fantastic shooter,’’ said Boen “We count on him to come in and hit a couple of threes like that. The charge was just the perfect play. He got himself back, they had numbers going to the basket, but he just stood there and [Tyrese Hoxter] ran over him.’’
Hoxter came out aggressive in the fourth quarter, scoring the Townies’ first 11 points, but the Boxers fought back to tie the game at 57.
The Boxers meet the winner of today’s St. John’s (Shrewsbury) and Central game for the state title Saturday at the DCU Center in Worcester.