The boys basketball teams at North Farmington, Birmingham Seaholm and Bloomfield Hills Lahser have all made late-season pushes to put themselves in position to capture league championships.
North Farmington (14-4) took out Southfield back on Friday to set up a game against Clarkston on Tuesday for a share of the Oakland Activities Association Red Division title.
Lacking much experience entering the season, the Raiders gelled quickly and have only lost twice since Christmas (once to Southfield and once to Clarkston).
Super sophomore Jerron (Buddha) Rogers, one of the top underclassmen in the state, and three-year starters Caleb Hogans (Spring Arbor) and Sterling Sharp (Eastern Michigan for baseball) provide North Farmington leadership and playmaking. Role players like freshmen guards Jacob Joubert and Alex Darden, sophomore wing Anthony Qasawa and senior center Cameron Darden have been true-difference makers, as well.
It’s been seven years since the Raiders won a league crown.
Like North Farmington, Seaholm (14-4) picked up a big-time victory on Friday, blasting Lake Orion 74-50. The resounding Maples’ triumph bumped Lake Orion out of first place in the OAA Blue Division and gives Seaholm an opportunity to grab a league championship by winning its final two games of the regular season this week.
Piping hot on the hardwood as of late, the Maples are currently riding a six-game win-streak. Dynamic senior forward Paris Bass is averaging a double-double and his prolific antics are being nicely augmented by the likes of fellow seniors and returning starters Brett Houghton and Brandon Yousif and fast-charging juniors such as Karl Marback, Andrew Barton and Joey Nagridge.
Marback and Barton are also star football players and helped lift the Maples to a league title on the gridiron last fall. They compete on the basketball floor with the same tough-as-nails attitude. Nagridge has been a true “X-factor” this season, assuming starting point guard duties and playing like a grizzled vet.
Lahser (13-5) is in search of its second straight league championship, raising a banner in the OAA Gold last winter. Moving up into the Blue this year, the Knights haven’t missed much of a beat. Courtesy of Lake Orion’s loss to Seaholm Friday, Lahser took sole possession of first place in the league race. If the Knights win-out they will collect another outright crown. If they split, they will snatch a share of the title. This Thursday’s showdown with Seaholm will most likely decide things.
The Knights feature a highly-touted trio of juniors in center Yante Maten, small forward Khalil Gracey and point guard Armand Cartwright. The 6-foot-8 Maten is the top post prospect in the area.
The Andover Barons girls hoopsters were breaking records at a brisk pace last week, as multiple all-time school marks fell.
It started back on Tuesday when Barons star junior point guard Shannon Wilson went over the 1,000-point plateau in the team’s game versus Farmington Hills Harrison. Making the feat that much more impressive, she accomplished the feat in less than 60 games of action, the speediest in school history.
Then on Thursday, Wilson dropped a triple-double of 21 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds in Andover’s 81-57 manhandling of Birmingham Groves. Her 16 assists was a single-game school-record and also broke the mark for a single-season. The 81 points scored in the game was a school-record and senior shooting guard Rachel Rea broke the school single-season and career-record for 3-pointers connected on.