It appears the race for the OAA Gold Division championship in boys basketball will likely be a three-team battle to the end of the regular season.
Farmington’s prospects took another hit Tuesday night when the Falcons lost at home to Hazel Park, 65-53.
With four games remaining, both teams are tied with Berkley for first place in the division, each with a 4-2 record.
It was the second straight setback for Farmington, which slipped to 8-8 overall. The Vikings have played well of late and are better than their 6-9 record.
“We just have to take it one game at a time and get ready for Friday night,” Falcons coach Terrance Porter said, regarding the next OAA Gold game at Royal Oak.
“We control our own destiny. We just have to make sure we handle our business. At the end of the day, we’ll see where we wind up.”
Farmington had a 33-21 lead at halftime and 43-39 lead through three quarters Tuesday, but the Falcons were outscored in the fourth, 26-10.
“It was really the whole second half,” Porter said, citing an 18-10 advantage for the Vikings in the third period. “We didn’t take care of the ball. We had a difficult time defensively against their quickness.
“It was a really tough night for us. We didn’t do a great job on either end of the floor.”
Hazel Park cashed in at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter. The Vikings were 13-of-18 in that period and 15-of-27 overall.
Coincidentally, the Falcons were the same at the foul line. It wasn’t just free throws that contributed to the defeat, however.
“We missed opportunities at the basket,” Porter said. “Defensively, our intensity wasn’t there in the second half like it was in that first quarter (15-4 lead for Farmington).
“I knew they were going to come in and fight, because I saw them do it against Berkley on Friday when they came back and won in overtime. They fought; they scrapped and clawed out a win.”
Jordan Graham, Ryan Coucke and Malik Williams scored eight points apiece for Farmington, which routed Hazel Park in late January, 79-53. Connor Greenlee had seven, Austin Thompson six and Justin Banks five.
The Vikings had four players in double figures, led by by Carl Bow and David Hearns with 17 points each. Julius Giles tallied 14 and Eddie White 10.
Farmington will play Berkley at home in the final game of the regular season. The Bears and Vikings have to play each other once more, too.
Clarenceville earned a 67-59 victory over host Dearborn Tuesday after losing two close games.
Senior forward Jermell Johnson had a double-double, which included 25 points. Junior guard Quintin Banks scored 11 points while running the offense.
Seniors Jake Kubiak and Elijah Bean added strong defensive efforts and eight points apiece.
The Trojans will play Robichaud Friday night.