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North Farmington earns win over Bloomfield Hills in District opener, top ranked Marian up next

Basketball   | Jim Spadafore

North Farmington earns win over Bloomfield Hills in District opener, top ranked Marian up next

Birmingham - The North Farmington girls' basketball team is going to enjoy Monday's victory a little longer than usual. There is no use looking ahead to a major obstacle.
 The Raiders built a 29-18 halftime lead and then held on for a 53-46 victory over Bloomfield Hills in a Class A district opener at Birmingham Marian.
 North Farmington (12-9) now plays No. 1 ranked and defending state champion Marian (19-1) at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday. In Wednesay's first game Farmington Hills Harrison plays Birmingham Seaholm at 5:30 p.m.
 "We get to play Marian and nobody expects us to win," North Farmington coach Jeff Simpson said about playing the nation's No. 14 ranked team. "There's no pressure on us. We know how good Marian is, but we're coming in with the belief we can compete.
 "Our goal coming into tonight's game was to play on Wednesday."
 It looked like a lock in storming to an 11-point halftime lead. But the Black Hawks (12-9), behind 5-5 senior Amanda Moss and sophomore center Amanda Sape (18 points each), roared back with 13-2 run to tie it 31-31 with 2:46 left in the third quarter.
 Bloomfield Hills coach Jeff Rubin gave his team a charged halftime speech about this possibly being their last high school game, so they needed a rally.
 "We came out brilliantly in the third quarter," Rubin said, "But maybe we used a little bit too much energy."
 Raiders senior guard Megan Carter, who signed with Kent State, made a 16-foot circus shot while falling down to make it 33-31 and the lead stretched to 40-31 with 40.8 seconds left in the third quarter.
 Bloomfield Hills cut the deficit to 40-38 but never came closer than five points after that.
 "We got up a little bit but then we kind of let them back in the game," Simpson said, "We didn't move our feet (on defense).
 "But we knew it was going to be a tough game because we played them earlier (52-42 victory on Jan. 8). And we knew they were going to key on Megan. They defended her different than they did the first time."
 Carter was held to 12 points (five assists) but, as usual, she's much more interested in winning and setting up her teammates.
 After North Farmington 5-10 freshman Sam Cherney sank a 3-point shot to make it 36-31, Carter passed to sophomore Sophie Mueller for a layup and assisted on another Cherney shot to give the Raiders a 40-31 lead.
 "We have a young team and I wanted to get my teammates involved first instead of looking for my shot," Carter said.
 North Farmington got a big lift from Cherney, who made two 3-point shots in her 12-point effort.
 "Sam hitting those two threes were key," Simpson said, "She won't mind me saying this but she hasn't made many threes all season."
 But Cherney made them when they counted most.