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February 12, 2014

North Farmington girls basketball to host West Bloomfield

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

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North Farmington girls basketball to host West Bloomfield
West Bloomfield’s Dazia Dinkins dribbles past a Stoney Creek defender during a game. The Lakers are looking to avenge a 53-30 loss to North Farmington when the teams meet on Feb. 18.

The first game was decided by 23 points.

The next, likely, won’t be.

As the North Farmington and West Bloomfield girls basketball squads prep for their second meeting of the winter, that’s precisely the tone Tim Carruthers and Zach Hilbers took.

More than a month after the Raiders went to West Bloomfield and left with a 53-30 victory, the squads are set to tip again at 7 p.m. Feb. 18 in Farmington Hills.

“And I think if we match their intensity, if are able to play as hard as we know they will, we’re going to have a chance to be successful this time,” Hilbers, the West Bloomfield High coach, said last week. “We go into every game thinking if we execute the right way, we have a chance to be successful. This will be no different.”

“They were very tough to play against, and we expect the same this time,” North Farmington’s Carruthers said. “We were successful in adjusting to how they played. We also had our best shooting night of the season, to that point. But we know they are a solid team.”

Neither team is in contention for the Oakland Activities Association Red Division, but with the playoffs just around the corner, both understand the urgency to get their games at a top level, and quickly.

At press time, North Farmington was 6-7 overall with a 4-5 mark in the Red.

The Raiders were also on a three-game winning streak, grabbing victories against Pontiac High, Farmington Hills Harrison and Lathrup Village Southfield-Lathrup before losing at the buzzer to a 12-3 Stoney Creek squad.

“I think it took us a while to find our stride, but we’re at the point now where we’ve figured out who is best suited where,” Carruthers said. “You want to be playing your best at this time of year, and I feel like we’ve gotten to that point. We want to continue that now, with the postseason so close.”

West Bloomfield was 4-6 overall and 1-4 in the Red.

“The key is being ready to play at their pace,” Hilbers said of North Farmington. “In the first game, we relied too much on natural talent instead of being in position to take advantage of their weaknesses. And they took advantage of us. It’s going to be a tough game, playing at their place, in their gym. But when you play in the Red, every night is a challenge, and that’s what you like.”

The girls basketball state playoffs begin Feb. 24.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.