The North Farmington defense lead by #2 Caleb Hogans (top) & #20 Jacob Joubert swarm in the lane against Harrison guard #1 Dorian Fields on Tuesday, January 22, 2013. (Special to The Oakland Press/CHRIS WALL)
Basketball - Boys
BOYS BASKETBALL: "Pink" North Farmington wins city championship by beating Harrison WITH VIDEO
North Farmington senior guard #2 Caleb Hogans hits the layup to lead the Raiders to a 61-58 over crosstown rival Farmington Harrison on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at N. Farmington. (Special to The Oakland Press/CHRIS WALL)
North Farmington's #1 Jeron Rogers drives baseline on Harrison center #33 John Rexroth (right) in the Pink Out game on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at N. Farmington. (Special to The Oakland Press/CHRIS WALL)
North Farmington senior Sterling Sharp comes down with the rebound late in the 61-58 win over rival Farmington Harrison on Tuesday, January 22, 2013. (Special to The Oakland Press/CHRIS WALL)
FARMINGTON HILLS – North Farmington sophomore forward Jeron “Buddha” Rogers had everything going for him early on in Tuesday night’s non-conference matchup against cross town rival Farmington Hills Harrison, which would decide the Farmington city championship.
But the sophomore’s biggest impact of Tuesday’s showdown came at the very end.
After splitting a pair of free throws late, Rogers came up with his fourth and final block of the night, as he swatted Harrison’s A.J. Freeman’s potential game-tying 3-pointer with 4.9 left on the clock to preserve a narrow 61-58 win for the Raiders in a game where both teams came together for cancer awareness.
North Farmington was decked out in pink uniforms as part of the festivities.
Rogers, who finished with a game-high 28 points and 12 rebounds to go along with his four blocks, said that he was aware of the type of shooter that Freeman is and knew he had to find a way to get a hand on the ball in Harrison’s effort to send the game to overtime.
“I wanted to knock that free throw down,” said Rogers. “I was upset that I missed the second one, so I was kind of upset and I knew that A.J. Freeman, he’s a good shooter, so he got out to the wing to shoot the ball, and I knew I had to jump as high as I could to tip the ball to make him miss.”
“I think us playing for cancer awareness is a great thing for us and the community, with both teams and the rivalry that we have with them,” he said. “But game wise, it was ugly, they were better than us in every phase of the game and hopefully we don’t have to play them again.”
After Harrison trailed by as many as 10 in the final two minutes on Tuesday night, the Hawks put together a furious comeback attempt in the final minutes as Calvin Butler knocked down a 3-pointer to cut the North Farmington lead down to 60-53.
Harrison then cut the deficit down to as little as two in the final minute after a fast-break lay-in from junior Todd Moore and then another 3-pointer from senior Dorian Fields to cut the score to 60-58.
Moore finished with a team-high 13 points, while Fields and Freeman each tallied 10 points of their own and sophomore John Rexroth also finished with 10 points and hauled in nine rebounds for Harrison.
But the Raiders (9-3) survived the late scare thanks to the late free-throw and block from Rogers in the final 10 seconds of the game.
“I think us playing for cancer awareness is a great thing for us and the community, with both teams and the rivalry that we have with them,” North Farmington head coach Todd Negoshian said. “But game wise, it was ugly, they were better than us in every phase of the game and hopefully we don’t have to play them again.”
After catching fire in the first half, Rogers picked up right where he left off in the second half as he started the second half a pair of quick lay-ins to give the Raiders a 32-28 lead early on in the third.
Negoshian added that throughout much of the night on Tuesday, Rogers continued to come up with big play after big play for his team to keep the Raiders out in front of Harrison.
“I was happy for him,” he said. “I thought he really stepped up for us when we needed him and that’s a credit to him and the ability he’s got for us.”
Then, after five straight points from senior Sterling Sharp and four more from senior Caleb Hogans, North Farmington closed out the third quarter with a quick lay-in from Rogers and a putback by freshman Jacob Joubert to take a comfortable 45-39 lead into the fourth quarter.
Hogans finished with 13 points on the night, while Sharp added eight more points and grabbed seven rebounds in the win for the Raiders.
The first quarter proved to be a battle of the sophomore big men, as Rogers and Rexroth exchanged baskets for much of the opening frame as Rogers finished with nine points heading into the second quarter, while Rexroth finished with eight as North Farmington held a narrow 15-14 lead.
“I just wanted to win the game,” Rogers said of his big night. “It’s a big game, the city championship and I just wanted to win the game and whatever I could do to win the game, I just did.”
NORTH FARMINGTON 61, FARMINGTON HILLS HARRISON 58
HARRISON – Harold Clay 1 2; Dorian Fields 1 (2) 2-2 10; Mark Gray 4 0-1 8; Todd Moore 4 (1) 2-3 13; A.J. Freeman 1 (1) 5-6 10; Calvin Butler 1 (1) 5; John Rexroth 5 10; Totals: 17 (5) 9-12 58
NORTH – Anthony Qasawa 1 2-2 4; Jeron Rogers 10 (1) 5-9 28; Caleb Hogans 4 (1) 2-4 13; Cameron Darden 2 4; Jacob Joubert 1 2; Alex Darden 1-2; Totals: 18 (2) 10-17 61
SCORE BY QUARTER
H 14 12 13 19 — 58
NF 5 13 17 16 — 61
RECORDS – North Farmington 9-3; Harrison 9-3