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Ugly finish overshadows North Farmington's win over Hazel Park WITH PHOTO GALLERY

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Game suspended with 1:13 to play as unruly fans force referees to calll the game early

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HAZEL PARK – While the temperatures were dropping into the teens outside the home team’s gym, the temperatures inside hit a boiling point during the OAA boys basketball crossover between North Farmington and Hazel Park that was suspended by the referees with 1:13 left in the fourth quarter due to “unsafe conditions in the stands.”

The visiting Raiders went on earn the win over Hazel Park, 75-58, as a chippy contest that had plenty of whistles led to a physical altercation between fans and one of the officials attempting to leave the court.

Both coaches were upset with the suspended contest. North Farmington head coach Todd Negoshian had “Never seen anything like that.”

“It’s sad that in our society you have a great game like that and fans have to ruin it,” he said. “It’s unfortunate for the kids and hopefully it’s a lesson for the kids of what you don’t want to be when you grow older.”

Hazel Park head coach Brandon Barrett also wasn’t pleased with the scene during and after the game.

“That’s the first time it’s ever gotten that bad,” Barrett said. “Officiating was poor in my opinion. I’ve never seen a game officiated like that. It was lopsided all night. By far the worst I’ve ever seen.”

The Vikings actually began the game with a 7-2 lead but ended the first quarter down seven, 19-12, and with nine team fouls already called on them. North Farmington pushed its lead as high as 15 in the second and took a 36-27 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Vikings caught fire in the third with six quick points as Kyle Washington and Devin Pettus had back-to-back steals and layups. Carl Bow added a jumper at the 5:50 mark to cut the Raiders’ lead to 36-33. After the Raiders’ Karl Patrick hit one free throw, Pettus nailed a three- pointer to get the Vikings to within one at 37-36 with 4:50 left in the third.

The Raiders would push their lead back as high as nine before more chippiness came with only three seconds left. The Viking bench had been warned for a technical, and then Hazel Park athletic director, Dr. David Muylaert, was hit with a technical and ejected from the gym. With the two technical foul shots made, North Farmington had a 50-44 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Raiders continued to pour on the offensive effort while the Vikings had to settle for long three-point attempts. North Farmington (7-7 overall) built a commanding 16-point lead that grew to 19 with 2:20 left in the game, 75-56. After another foul was called on North Farmington and Bow hit two free throws, the game was called at 75-58 and 1:13 left on the clock.

“We tried to fight back but when you’re at a disadvantage of playing eight on five the whole night it’s hard to come back from,” Barrett said, again referring to his displeasure with the three officials. “Now it’s back to the grind. It was a crossover game. What do you say to your guys? We’ve got to go back to practice. We’ve got a game on Tuesday. Our game plan doesn’t change. We’re still looking to win the league.”

Negoshian said, “We played hard and we have to use this as a teaching tool. This is a high school basketball game, what’s there to get that upset for? I thought the referees did the best job trying to keep it under control. If you don’t call it that way it will be an absolute war and a street fight.”

The Raiders were led by Amauri Hardy’s 31 points. Nate Brooks added 21 points and Karl Patrick had 13. For Hazel Park, Carl Bow and Devin Pettus each chipped in 16 points, while David Hearns added 14. Hazel Park was 16-of-21 from the free throw line for 76 percent, while North Farmington hit 14-of-17 for 82 percent.

Hazel Park (10-4 overall) travels to Auburn Hills Avondale on Tuesday, while North Farmington hosts Clarkston the same night.

Last Updated: 2/10/2017 12:34:10 AM EST


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