North Farmington’s Deon Hayes looks to get by an Oak Park High defender in a game earlier this season. At press time, the Raiders were 7-2 overall.

North Farmington’s Deon Hayes looks to get by an Oak Park High defender in a game earlier this season. At press time, the Raiders were 7-2 overall.

Photo by Deb Jacques


North Farmington boys hoops gearing up for playoffs

By: Zachary Manning | Farmington Press | Published March 22, 2021

 North Farmington’s Jared Frazier goes up for a shot against Oak Park High in a game earlier this year. The Raiders will open the playoffs March 25 against the winner of Farmington High and Birmingham Seaholm.

North Farmington’s Jared Frazier goes up for a shot against Oak Park High in a game earlier this year. The Raiders will open the playoffs March 25 against the winner of Farmington High and Birmingham Seaholm.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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FARMINGTON HILLS — With the regular season now in the books, the focus has shifted to the postseason for the North Farmington boys basketball team.

If the regular season is any indication, the Raiders could be in for a deep run. At press time, they were 7-2 overall and finished second in the Oakland Activities Association Red Division.

But coach Todd Negoshian knows it’s not about how you start — it’s about how you finish. He noted that no one remembers teams that go 20-0 who lose in the first round.

He’s been a part of several long runs, including a Class A state championship appearance in 2016. With his group engaged in a league title race throughout March, Negoshian added that his group has had to be locked in for a while now.

“It’s just the leadership and the bonding and the togetherness of our team, it feels like a family,” Negoshian said. “There’s that personal feel within this group. They’re all friends, they all laugh and joke together. You got to credit our leadership for that. Our seniors have really honed in on making sure that we are a team and that we’re all on the same page and we all have the same goals. It’s been great to be around them.”

In a season unlike any other, North Farmington has relied on its seniors to lead the way. They’ve played an instrumental role in keeping the Raiders focused on what they’d like to achieve.

With a group of seniors that have been around the program for quite some time, there is one thing they’ve been able to relay to the underclassmen: hard work.

Throughout his time with the program, Negoshian has always preached hard work, and that resonates with his players. You can see it on the court, especially on the defensive end of the floor.

The Raiders aren’t allowing anything to come easy. Opposing teams haven’t had much success putting the ball in the basket this year. Only one team has reached the 60-point mark, and just two have topped 50.

Additionally, they’ve held four teams under 40 points, including Ferndale High, which scored a season-low 35 points. The other three are Farmington High, West Bloomfield High and Oak Park High.

However, as playoffs near, Negoshian wants his team to continue working on the fundamentals and remain as safe and healthy as possible in terms of COVID-19.

“We just want to really make sure we can execute, be fundamentally sound and do a lot of the little things to give us as many opportunities as we can in March. Come March, every possession counts,” Negoshian said.

The Raiders will attempt to carry that hard work and defense into districts, which will kick off March 25 for them. They will get the winner of Farmington and Birmingham Seaholm.

North Farmington has beaten the Falcons twice already, but hasn’t played Seaholm. Though Seaholm was 5-8 overall at press time, the Maples had won their last two contests.

On the other side of the bracket, Birmingham Brother Rice will await the winner of Southfield A&T and Birmingham Groves. The district final will take place March 27 at Brother Rice.

Negoshian views this as one of the toughest districts in the state, but he believes his team has what it takes to be the one that comes out as champions.

“I would have a hard time saying it’s not one of the toughest ones,” Negoshian said of the district. “Top to bottom, kids compete. It’s got some great teams, some great coaches.”

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