Coach Terrance Porter hopes the gym will be rocking Thursday night at Farmington High School, and the odds are it will be with plenty of support for the Falcons.
It will be winner-take-all when Farmington plays host to Berkley in a 7 p.m. tipoff with the OAA Gold Division championship on the line in boys basketball.
The Falcons rebounded from a late-season slump and put themselves in a favorable position Tuesday by defeating crosstown rival and host Harrison, 67-58.
“It’s what we’ve prepared for all season,” Farmington coach Terrance Porter said. “It’s down to one game. We have to execute our game plan for one more game.
“We know it’s going to be a tough game. We lost a heartbreaker at their gym in overtime. I’m expecting a great effort. I know my guys are hungry to win the division.”
In the first meeting Feb. 12 at Berkley, James McKelvey hit a three-point shot from the corner with six seconds remaining to give the Bears a 55-54 win.
“It was nip and tuck,” Porter said. “They just made one more play than we did. We had our chances. We have to make sure we take advantage of our opportunities and try to limit theirs on Thursday night. We still have a lot to play for.”
Two remain at the top
Farmington (10-9) and Berkley were tied with Hazel Park for first place going into Tuesday. But the Vikings lost to Ferndale, setting up a showdown game between the Falcons and Bears. Both teams are 6-3 in the division.
Senior Connor Greenlee scored a career-high 15 points to lead Farmington, which last won a division title five years ago, in the win over Harrison.
In a balanced scoring attack, Jordan Graham had 13, Justin Banks 10, Austin Thompson nine, Alex Manasa eight and Ryan Coucke seven.
“I thought it was a total team effort tonight,” Porter said. “Just look at the scoring – three guys in double figures and three others who were close to it.”
After a 19-point second quarter in which it outscored Farmington by eight, Harrison took a 31-29 lead into the intermission. The Falcons outscored the Hawks in the third quarter, 23-9.
Tough on defense
“Defensively, I thought we were really good in the third quarter,” Porter said. “That’s where we took control of the game. We capitalized on our defense and scored the basketball.
“We were able to force some turnovers with our pressure. It bothered them and it led to some easy baskets for us.”
“After they were down, (the Hawks) tried to press, but I thought we did a pretty decent job of handling it. We still didn’t do a good job of closing out the game at the free-throw line in that fourth quarter.”
The Falcons were 11-of-20 at the foul line overall, the Hawks 11-of-15.
John Rexroth scored 17 points to lead Harrison, which is 2-7 in the division and 3-16 overall. Daniel Williams, Adrian Pattach and Tommy Williams netted eight apiece and David Vinsky seven.
“All in all, after going through that little slump when we lost three in a row, it feels good that we put ourselves in a position to control our own destiny and win the division,” Porter said.
“I’m proud of the way we battled and fought tonight, and I’m looking forward to the championship game being played in our home gym.”
Trojans get win
Livonia Clarenceville concluded the regular season Tuesday with a 60-52 victory over host Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest.
Senior Jermell Johnson scored a game-high 30 points to lead the Trojans, whose next game will be Monday in the Class B district tournament at Clarenceville. Senior James Hill scored 15 points for the winners.