North Farmington hits two late free throws to get by Farmington High

By: Zachary Manning | Online Only | Published January 14, 2019

 North Farmington's Justus Clark goes up for a shot in a game against Farmington High Jan. 14. The Raiders won the game 41-39.

North Farmington's Justus Clark goes up for a shot in a game against Farmington High Jan. 14. The Raiders won the game 41-39.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

FARMINGTON – There were just 10 seconds left on the clock, and Farmington High’s Tariq Shepherd had just knocked down two free throws to tie the game at 39. 

 

With the Falcons applying pressure, North Farmington was looking to get the ball in quick and get the ball down the floor. Farmington was looking to play solid defense without fouling, while the Raiders were looking to get to the basket for a last second shot. 

 

With time winding down, North Farmington’s Justus Clark drove down the lane and put up a shot. The crowd watched as the ball floated toward the rim. It fell off the side of the rim. 

 

But a whistle blew, and the referee signaled a foul, which sent Clark to the line for two shots. He was able to knock down both, and with just 0.1 seconds on the clock, Farmington was unable to get a shot off. The Raiders escaped with a 41-39 win. 

 

“The biggest thing is we just needed to rebound. If he made both, that’s fine. Get it in. We’ll go to overtime. We can’t turn it over. Other than that, if there’s a miss, we got to make sure we rebound and we block out and don’t give them a second chance,” North Farmington coach Todd Negoshian said. “After that, it was kind of just get to the basket and see what we can come up with. See if we can get a foul call or see if we can get to the rim and score.”

 

Farmington coach Terrance Porter was visibly upset with the call but didn’t blame that for his team’s loss. 

 

“I thought the game should’ve been decided by the players, obviously. But the official made the call,” Porter said. “I’m not going to say it was poor officiating, but it was a bad call, I thought. But that didn’t decide the game. We didn’t finish plays. We missed some free throws, we missed a layup down the stretch. At the end of the day, players have to make plays.” 

 

North Farmington was led by Jamal Hayes, Clark and Yusuf Jihad, who combined to score all 41 of the Raiders’ points. Jihad collected 16 points and 10 rebounds, Clark added 11 points and Hayes scored 14 points, all of which came in the first half. 

 

Negoshian was proud of the way his team fought throughout the game, especially with three players being down with injury. 

 

“We play 32 minutes, good or bad. I thought we were a little up and down tonight with our emotions and part of it’s just because of the game and the rivalry. But just for us to be able to battle and compete for 32 minutes, I’m very happy with where our guys are at, and I’m proud of them,” Negoshian said. 

 

For Farmington, Jaden Akins led the way with 17 points and six rebounds, while Tariq Humes and Shepherd added a combined 18 points and eight rebounds. 

 

Porter was happy with his team’s fight and ability to get back into the game after being down eight at halftime. He wants his team to continue getting better as the season goes along. 

 

“We’re halfway through the season now, so last 10 games, hopefully lessons have been learned. They continue to learn from practice and film sessions and learn from a game like this and use this as motivation going forward,” Porter said.

 

The Raiders will look to build on this win when they take on West Bloomfield Jan. 18 at 7 p.m on the road. 

 

The Falcons will look to rebound when they head to Rochester High Jan. 17 at 7 p.m.