Farmington High needs overtime to get by Southfield A & T

By: Zachary Manning | Online Only | Published December 21, 2018

 Farmington High's Jaden Akins goes up for a shot in a game against Southfield A & T. The Falcons won the game 90-85.

Farmington High's Jaden Akins goes up for a shot in a game against Southfield A & T. The Falcons won the game 90-85.

Photo by Donna Agusti.

FARMINGTON – Farmington High and Southfield A & T may have been playing just a regular season game, but it had a state-playoff atmosphere.

Entering the fourth quarter, A & T held a 62-51 lead, but Farmington started the first three minutes of the period with a 12-2 run to cut that lead to one. 

The Falcons eventually were able to force overtime and an unlikely hero came up with a game changing play. Sam Zervos didn’t see a minute of game action until overtime, but with the Falcons leading by two early in the period, Zervos drew a charge that Falcons coach Terrance Porter called, “huge.”

“We preach every day, be ready when your number is called and be able to contribute to the game more than just shooting the basketball and scoring,” Porter said. “That was a prime example of how big that defensive possession was and that charge that he took. Doing the little things that don't show up in the stat sheet, that wins games.”

Down the stretch, Farmington was able to hang on and win the game 90-85, improving to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in Oakland Activities Association White play. 

Farmington relied on its stars to stay in the game, and they showed up in a big way. Tariq Humes, Tariq Shepherd and Jaden Akins combined to score 74 of the teams 90 points. 

“Those are three special perimeter players. I don’t think there’s any team in the state that has three guards of that caliber. I’ll put them up against any team in the state, and they showed it tonight,” Porter said. 

For A & T coach Darryle Buchanan, he said his team lost their poise and patience late in the game, which led to the Falcons’ comeback. He also added that his team started to play as individuals instead of as a team.

Buchanan agreed with Porter, saying the charge was something that turned the game around. He also wasn’t happy with the number of fouls his team was committing late in the game. 

“When they really made that move at us, we couldn’t maintain our poise. At halftime, that was the majority of what I talked to them about,” Buchanan said. “The way we practice is the way we play, so there seems to be let ups at practice sometimes, and now I can go back and pinpoint this and say, ‘These are exactly the issues that we’re talking about.’” 

The Warriors were led by Cameron McEvans and Andre Floyd. McEvans scored 26 points, 14 of which came in the second half and overtime, while Floyd added 17 points and five rebounds. 

Buchanan called McEvans the heart and soul of the team and wants him to continue growing as a player throughout the season. 

“When I look at the leadership and the stability that he gives us, he’s our spark plug. You see it. Not only does he energize us, he energizes the crowd as well. Even the fans from the other team were calling his name, so he’s that special kind of player,” Buchanan said. 

The Falcons will look to continue their winning ways when they take on Clarkston at 7 p.m. Dec. 28 on the road. 

A & T will look to bounce back at noon Dec. 29 against Ann Arbor Huron at the Ypsilanti Community Christmas Tournament.