North Farmington girls hoops squad earns key road victory at West Bloomfield

By: Mike Moore | C&G Newspapers | Published January 31, 2013

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Hitting big shots was key all night — for both teams.

But when it counted most, it was the free ones that made the difference.

North Farmington’s girls basketball team went on the road Thursday, and thanks in large part to connecting on 14-of-18 free throws in the fourth quarter, stole one from West Bloomfield High 57-45 in and Oakland Activities Association Red Division battle.

“This was a good win, especially on the road,” coach Tim Carruthers said afterward.  “(West Bloomfield) hit some big shots, with four different players making 3-pointers, so they were very tough to defend. But as the game wore on, we did a nice job taking away some of their penetration and challenged some of their outside looks.”

“Honestly, we played really good basketball for 25 or 26 minutes,” West Bloomfield coach Zach Hilbers said. “There were  just a few times where we had some mental lapses, gave away some easy looks and let them capitalize on it. That was the difference.”

The teams traded buckets, practically all night.

The Raiders led 13-11 after the first quarter and 27-21 by halftime. But the Lakers outside shooting narrowed the deficit to just 37-34 entering the final frame.

The Raiders were able to hang on, and eventually grow the lead by scoring 14 of their 20 points in the quarter from the free-throw line.

“They put a lot of pressure on us, and our girls handled it,” Carruthers said. “Defensively, we got some big stops at big times, forced some turnovers and rebounded when we needed to."

“We cut it to three and had some chances,” Hilbers added. “But that’s a good team. … I’d say we played a real good game, which we did. But the problem is, we played good enough to win, but didn’t find a way. We have to learn how to do that.”

Bri Durough led the Raiders (8-6 overall, 6-3 OAA Red) with 19 points and nine rebounds. She also added four steals. Jessie Carruthers had 14 points, connecting on three 3-pointers.

Kaitlyn Kendall and Megan Carter added nine points, each.

Kheri Motley led the Lakers (5-8 overall, 2-7 OAA Red) with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Rachel Harnish added 11 points.